Indoor market idea for town centre
Stone Town Council has urged local businesspeople who would like to trade in the town centre but who can’t afford the rents and rates to get in touch.
The council is looking at helping a number of traders to come together to take on one of the empty shops in the High Street, potentially creating an indoor market-style operation. The idea was raised at a meeting of the council on Tuesday 11th December by town councillor Harry Brunt and was backed by other members. Town clerk Les Trigg will now be looking at how the scheme could operate.
Cllr Brunt raised the idea after being approached by Stone businesswoman Kerry Dawson. Kerry would love to take on one of the empty town centre shops for her baby sling and baby clothes business, but can’t afford the rent and rates by herself. Her idea is to pool a number of local businesspeople to take on an empty building, ideally the old Victoria Wine off licence on the High Street that has been empty for years.
The lease on that shop is on the market with Louis Taylor – for £20,000 a year.
Kerry said: “I would love to open a business in the town centre but I’m put off by the rents. I know lots of local businesspeople who are in the same situation , so surely we can come together and make something work. An indoor market in the old Victoria Wine would be brilliant. It would bring something very different to Stone and offer shoppers something extra.”
Any potential scheme is very much in its infancy but the town council wants to hear from local businesspeople who are interested in getting involved and making it happen.