Hemsworth market saved by council

Hemsworth market.
Hemsworth market.
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Town councillors in Hemsworth have stepped in to save their local market from the cost cuts axe.

Hemsworth Town Council has agreed to take over the reins of the town’s market to save it from the chop under budget-cutting plans.

Wakefield Council bosses announced earlier this year that they were reviewing “non-core” markets in Featherstone, Hemsworth, Normanton and South Elmsall.

They said the state of the economy and changes in buying trends had led to a drop in customers and stallholders and warned all four sites could close if they could not be transferred.

Town councillors and traders stepped in last month to save Featherstone’s market. Now Hemsworth’s, which trades on Tuesdays and Fridays, has also been secured and will see a re-launch of its Saturday market as a second-hand and new market.

Coun David Dagger, cabinet member with responsibility for markets, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to negotiate this agreement to ensure the future of Hemsworth Market which provides a valuable service to the local community.

“This is the second market where we have reached an agreement with the town council. Last month we were able to announce that Featherstone would be taking over the running of their local market.“

The final details of the proposals are now being worked out but council bosses say it is likely the market will be operated by the town council from late October.

Coun Tony Upson, chair of the town council, said: “There is a lot of support in Hemsworth for the market to stay.

“We received a petition with 576 signatories calling for the market to be saved.

“The town council will do everything it can to ensure the market’s success but what we need now is for those people who signed the petition to start shopping at the market and that way we will be able to attract new traders.”

Wakefield Council added that discussions are ongoing with town councils and traders at the other non-core markets in Normanton and South Elmsall and that the markets, as well as Castleford, Ossett, Pontefract and Wakefield, continue to be open for business as usual.

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