Plea for a major rethink of Petworth farmer’s market

The street view of Red Card is blocked by a market stall
The street view of Red Card is blocked by a market stall
  • Petworth traders want a trial of the farmer’s market in Market Square
  • They say it is the worst day of the month’s trading when the market is held in its current High Street location
  • Petworth Town Council and Business Association is working with the district council to get a trial
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A Petworth trader has called for a serious rethink of the town’s controversial monthly farmer’s market.

Sally Matson who runs the Red Card stationery shop in High Street said traders did not support it because their trade slumped every time it came to town.

I would suggest that now is the time for the Chichester District Council (CDC) to review the way they are treating the traders of Petworth and seriously consider the future of the market in this town

She believes it is in the wrong place to attract visitors and it needs better promotion.

She said it was not supported because market stalls overshadowed shop businesses in High Street every time it was held.

“On Saturday when I arrived to open my independent business on the sunniest Saturday of the year, I was greeted by a market stall right across the front of my shop.

“The Red Card window displays are one of the features of the business, and as any independent retailer knows, the window display is what brings people into your shop. Anyone passing Red Card on Saturday could not see my windows, and anyone inside the shop was in a gloomy room because the dark green canvas of the stall outside blocked the light.”

She said: “it is irrefutable that trading figures dip in all businesses when the market is in town.”

“I would suggest that now is the time for the Chichester District Council (CDC) to review the way they are treating the traders of Petworth and seriously consider the future of the market in this town.”

She said CDC needed to work with the community and businesses when they ran initiatives such as the markets to ensure their success.

Petworth town councillors are calling for a trial of the market in Market Square. Michael Peet told fellow town councillor on Thursday it was currently ‘shambolic’.

“Traders say its the worst day of the month for them because people avoid High Street.”

He wanted to give CDC the chance to make it a success by working with the business association and the town council.

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