£10,000 funding to boost market trade

HEBDEN Bridge market could be set for a major shake-up.

Thursday, 25th October 2012, 3:58 pm

After receiving £10,000 by signing up to be a Town Team Partner, Hebden Bridge Business Association Town Team is looking to boost trade by moving the market from its current location on Valley Road to the Lees Yard carpark, just off Crown Street.

Amy Leader, who applied for the funding on behalf of the town team earlier this year, said: “I am really excited about how we can support the market in Hebden Bridge and revitalise the town in a time when we need it the most.

“After the floods people are working together in different ways than they did before and this is a great opportunity to use the work they are doing and expanding on it.”

The Town Team Partner scheme, set up by the Department for Communities and Local Government, was open for towns who had been unsuccessful in bidding for the Portas Pilots scheme, which would have seen them gain £100,000.

Amy said: “The application we originally put in was to develop the market in Hebden Bridge, to create an opportunity for people to start up and run new businesses.

“A group of volunteers went around and spoke to market traders, shoppers and owners of other businesses in Hebden Bridge to find out how the market could be better.

“Some of the things that are under consideration are moving the market on to the Lees Yard carpark. We are also looking at different uses for the market, including joining up with local schools so pupils studying business can set up their own stalls and use it as a learning tool.”

Former Hebden Bridge Business Association chairman Duncan McKie believes said that after the loss of carparking spaces due to the Hebden Bridge Town Hall development, moving the market on to the Lees Yard carpark would give businesses a welcome shot in the arm.

“It’s fabulous news that we have been recognised as a forward-thinking, innovative market town,” he said. “The idea of moving the market to Lees Yard would satisfy two needs - It would create more permanent carparking space throughout the week and it would bring the market into the centre of the town, which can only have positive benefits.”

To receive the funding, the bid had to be signed off by Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, who said he was delighted that Hebden Bridge was successful.

“The investment of £10,000 in Hebden Bridge, particularly after the floods, will help attract more shoppers and tourists, and boost the local economy,” he said. “Any help, whether that be funding or mentoring, that Hebden Bridge gets can only be a good thing.”

In total 300 towns were accepted on to the scheme and they will all be able to get help and advice from a network of advisers managed by the Association of Town Centre Management, as well as sharing ideas with each other about what has worked well for them.

If Hebden Bridge gets a major boost in trade it could win a share of £1million.