LETTER: Chichester market is part of history

I WAS surprised by the negative reaction from BID concerning the problems being experienced by the Chichester market as expressed in a recent headline article in the Observer.

The Chichester market is part of Chichester’s history and goes back decades and decades. Over the years, people’s habits change but the market still keeps going and without the support that could be reasonably expected from the town itself.

Your famous ‘footfall’ would be nothing like what it is without the coaches coming in on a Wednesday and Saturday from local holiday centres to specifically visit the Chichester Market and if you don’t believe that, just see where the coaches drop off and pick up from in Market Avenue – without

them the town shops would really suffer.

Nobody will come to Chichester to see how different our M&S is from their local one back home.

You also seem to be inferring that the market stalls were not sufficiently ‘upmarket’ – wow, the arrogance of it all.

The butcher, fishmonger, bakers and veg stalls are of the highest quality and tremendous value for money, unbeatable in fact. They are supported by excellent plant stalls, ironmongery and a pot-pourri of other stalls which further widen the interest. None of which competes to any degree with the town-centre shops.

Rather than trying to denigrate the market you

should consider it an integral part of any campaign you

may wage to attract visitors

to the town, especially those from neighbouring towns and holiday centres.

If it means that the market must be brought into town then so be it, we shouldn’t be put off by any negative reaction from the shops in the town centre as they are remarkable in not knowing what’s good for them.

The aim must be not only to keep the market running but to also expand the market, something which would happen naturally the more successful

it became.

I hope that BID will change

its attitude and actively campaign in favour of this historic market which is such an asset to the town.

Will Smallwood

Queens Avenue

Chichester