Market traders urged to back Lichfield city centre initiatives after crowds turn out to watch big screen

Market traders have been urged to embrace efforts to bring new business into Lichfield after a temporary giant screen was put up in the city centre.

Hundreds turned out across the weekend to watch events including the Wimbledon tennis finals.

The big screen in Lichfield city centre

The big screen in Lichfield city centre

However, there had been criticism from some traders as the screening had meant the relocation of stalls on Market Square.

But Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Ray said it was important they were looking at the bigger picture.

“I am aware of the objections of the Lichfield market traders to having to be relocated from the Market Square to make way for the screening of the Wimbledon tennis finals and the British Grand Prix,” he said. “I went down to the Market Square to see the tennis on Sunday and I was impressed about how well it was attended.

“I support the comments made by David Smedley, the Leader of Lichfield City Council – the market is very important to Lichfield and it is accepted that, on this occasion, a short amount of notice was given of the relocation.

“But I do urge the market traders to embrace initiatives like this because if they are successful they will bring more customers and money into Lichfield for everyone’s benefit.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

12 Comments

  1. Ann

    17th July, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    I believe the real issue here was about the lack of consultation by the council with the Market traders.

  2. Adam Elsdon

    18th July, 2017 at 9:39 am

    The traditional stall market traders are hardly going to “embrace” been pushed out of the market square, they are businesses trying to make a living, with a handful of street food and drink stalls replacing them.
    A forward thinking planned approach by this council to help local new and established small businesses and traders would be welcome to offset the effect that the proposed new Friarsgate shopping centre with its big retail names will have on its existing retail environment.
    A no notice event benefitting its organiser and a few stalls, while enjoyable for those in attendance is not a useful long term strategy.

  3. Steve

    18th July, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    It would be very interesting to hear from local traders, if this boosted their earnings.

    I wonder if there will be any figures calculated.

    It would also be interesting to hear, if there was an increase in parking fines, during these events.

    I have been caught a couple of times, spending a little longer than I planned. Returning to a fine attached to my car.

  4. medici2471

    18th July, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    It seemed like most traders had boycotted the event, though surely a move into adjoining streets with increased footfall due to the entertainment would have benefited the traders?

    More significantly a local food & drink outlet complained that having paid into Lichfield BID they had put on an event with competitive pop up food and drink stalls and his trade was badly hit.

  5. Darryl

    19th July, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Any reason the screen couldn’t have been put in front of the cathedral? The grassed embankment is a natural amphitheatre.

  6. Philip John

    31st July, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    The attitude from market traders here is not new. For years, local retailers have tried to do things to increase footfall to the city centre while nearby towns like Tamworth, Sutton and Burton have a ‘better’ retail offering.

    At the forerunner to the BID we tried to use the market square but the market traders always locked up a fuss, despite how clear it was that the plans would have additional footfall right past their stalls.

    They even posted when we tried to upgrade their stalls to be more appealing than the tatty metal frames and manky planks of wood they have now.

    Lichfield’s retailers have spent years pouring effort into trying to make the city more attractive to visitors and protect themselves from the threat that Friarsgate has the potential to be. It’s time the market traders embrace the change that will benefit their business.

  7. medici2471

    31st July, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    I bought a cauliflower off the market once. I think. Or maybe it was a second hand book. Otherwise, nothing.

  8. Toast

    1st August, 2017 at 8:55 am

    The market will die away gradually with the demise of the current generation of Greys. Who here under the age of 60 can honestly say they use the market on a regular (i.e. weekly) basis?

  9. The Scribbler

    1st August, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I’m under 60 and I use the market on a weekly basis.
    I use it as an excuise not to go into the city centre.

  10. splinter

    8th August, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Lichfield market is a tradition, traditions do not change that’s what makes them so, Lichfield itself is traditional and most folks like it that way, why should every thing change because younger generations say so, they won’t be the younger generation forever, what will we have left in the way of heritage,

  11. John Griffin

    8th August, 2017 at 11:17 am

    You won’t find many continental towns messing around with their markets. But then, their markets tend to be more able to compete with supermarkets. Lichfield market needs a radical rethink IMO, I am sympathetic to Phillip John’s concerns, it is an excellent site and could provide more of a French-style produce market appeal, with the other stalls zoned too.

  12. Michael Fabricant

    9th August, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Totally agree with David Smedley, Paul Ray, and Philip John on this. The Big Screen was a popular and successful initiative and this sort of thing increases footfall in Lichfield City Centre for the benefit of all. Market Traders should work with the Council and embrace initiatives like this as it will improve their own trade.

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