Thanet council is looking for an operator to create a thriving, weekly market in Ramsgate.
The town centre, Friday market shut when covid restrictions were brought in during March 2020. It briefly reopened in June of that year but issues around placement meant the market closed again. A new site proposed for Pier Yard car park on the seafront was scuppered at the 11th hour.
Traders were then given the go-ahead to use Staffordshire Street car park, taking space in several disabled parking bays. But there was a drop in traders taking part on Fridays and none willing to set up for business at the site on Saturdays.
The low number of stalls meant falling income, with then-operator Hughmark making a decision to cease trade in the town.
In October 2020 Thanet council said there were plans to create a new Canterbury style format with gazebos and themed days and the market contract would go out to tender. This plan did not move forward.
In June last year, Cabinet members approved proposals to secure a new operator for the market. It also agreed to remove existing street trading and hawking restrictions on the High Street, King Street and Queen Street.
The proposal is for the new market to run every Friday in the High Street and Queen Street.
Thanet council will be responsible for the promotion of the market. The new operator will be offered a two year licence. They will have the freedom to choose the traders, fees and market stalls. There will be an option to renew at the end of two years if a sustainable market has been established.
Council leader Cllr Rick Everitt said: “Ramsgate Market is close to the heart of many residents and we know they are keen to see it return. It also helps support the existing businesses in the town centre by increasing footfall.
“The council is confident that there is significant support for a new, improved offering. A successful market provides a real focus for any town.
“This is a great opportunity for an operator to make their mark on Ramsgate, and we welcome creativity and new approaches. I would encourage all interested parties to apply for the two-year licence.”
You can learn more or request an application pack by emailing: email@example.com
The deadline for licence applications is Thursday 14 September.