Chester indoor Market is celebrating again this week after being named the overall winner, receiving the Chair’s Award in the annual ‘The Good The Bad and the Ugly’ awards from Chester Civic Trust.
The Civic Trust praised the Friday night openings; the judges were unanimous in their praise for the combined efforts of the traders and the Council in turning the market back into a vibrant facility and improving social inclusion in the community that is a credit to all those involved and a real asset for the City. The awards held last week (Thursday 27 February) also commended the George Street Pocket Park.
The Market was crowned Best Small Indoor Market in January in the national markets awards following the continued improvements and rising visitor numbers.
It has been a record breaking year for the market, welcoming over 1 million visitors over the past twelve months which is a 21 per cent increase on the previous year. This is a huge increase when compared to the national figures showing a 0.5 per cent fall in market footfall over the same period.
George Street Pocket Park, opened last year was also commended by the judges who said it was transformed from an ugly space into an attractive and very useable area offering good views of the Walls and carried out sympathetically to its historic surroundings.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Growth said: “The Civic Trust is an important and respected voice in our city, so to be recognised by them in this way is a great acknowledgement for the work of many people over many months.
“Chester Market has welcomed even more fantastic traders recently, bringing the space up to full capacity and creating a waiting list of traders for the first time in years.
“The Civic Trust’s judges have rightly identified the need for this amazing reinvigoration to be transferred into the new market hall which begins construction soon as part of the long-awaited Northgate Development. The vision for the new market is a community hub at the heart of our city, with places for people to shop, eat, drink and be entertained.
“The George Street Pocket Park was created as part of Chester’s One City Plan, the fifteen year plan launched in 2012 to build a sustainable city for the future. This upgraded park provides a green space between the bus interchange and the city centre and brings an under-used area back into use.
“Thank you to the Civic Trust for these awards and congratulations to the many people and organisations who have worked together to make the Market and Pocket Park such wonderful places to spend time in our city centre.”