‘Teething problems, but it will be worth it in the long run’.
That’s the verdict from Hebden Bridge market traders as they get used to their new surroundings in Lees Yard. The market moved from its Valley Road location two weeks ago after months of work to prepare the site, which lies on the edge of St George’s Square.
In addition to the regular Thursday market, a second-hand market runs every Friday and there is a new Saturday market selling crafts and artisan goods. The Sunday local produce market is continuing as usual.
Richard Holmes, of Marsh Top Farm Shop, Holmfield, Halifax, welcomed the move.
He said: “I think it will be for the best. It’s more central to the town. Once all the building work is finished, it will be brilliant.”
Mr Holmes said there had been a lot of positive feedback from customers and he had already seen an increase in takings.
“Locals knew where we were, but if visitors came they didn’t always find it,” he said.
He added there had been some teething problems, but traders worked together to overcome the issues. Andrew Hartley, of The Crumbly Cheese, also welcomed the news but said he felt the move had been “rushed”.
Mr Hartley said there seemed to have been a “mad rush” to get it open and when it came to the day, there was still muck piled up and issues around accessing the site.
“In the long-run, this will be a good thing,” he said. “Hebden Bridge has its own attraction and the market forms part of that attraction. Now it’s in the centre of town, I think that will work well and be more of an attraction.”
Nick Walker, who has a fruit and vegetable stall on the market, described the first day in Lees Yard as “chaotic” and the site as unfinished. He said the move was premature, but in the long-term thought it would be positive.
Councillior Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “The new location for Hebden Bridge market has already proved very popular, with plenty of visitors making use of its new central location in the town, creating a real buzz around the place.
“The project has been long in the making and hasn’t been straightforward and our priority was to get the Lees Yard site open as soon as possible in response to public consultation.
“As with any project of this nature, which has involved a number of agencies, there have been a few teething problems while the finishing touches have been taking place, but overall the response to the new location has been really positive.,” he added.
“We are confident that once the work is complete, the early positive start to the new location will be further enhanced.”
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