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Future of city centre markets debated
Market traders are to be asked what they think of a plan to combine Bradford city centre’s two markets on one site.
And an empty building will be used to trial the idea of a city-centre, Council-backed ethnic bazaar.
Regeneration bosses at Bradford Council believe the city will be unlikely to sustain two separate indoor markets once the Broadway shopping centre is open.
As a result, they want to merge the Oastler Shopping Centre and Kirkgate market into one, at an undecided location.
Next month traders at both sites will be asked to fill in questionnaires so the Council can gauge their opinion on three options.
* having the new merged market at the Oastler Shopping Centre
* having it at the Kirkgate Market
* developing a unified market at a new city-centre location.
Earlier this year, a councillor on a regeneration board suggested incorporating a bazaar into the merged indoor market.
At the Council’s regeneration and economy overview and scrutiny committee meeting in January, Councillor Mohammad Shabbir (Ind, Heaton) said bazaars were popular with the Asian community and could bring more shoppers into the city centre.
Director of regeneration Barra Mac Ruairi agreed, saying: “The city’s bazaars don’t always express themselves in the best form.
“We have to look at how we seize that activity and build it into a legitimate economy.”
Now the Council will pilot the idea in the empty Rawson Market building.
In a report to the committee, Mr Mac Ruairi said: “We intend to let the building for a fixed term to a bazaar operator as a tenant.
“This pilot initiative will enable us to assess the demand for and viability of a bazaar operation in any developments.”
Coun Shabbir welcomed the news. He said: “Bradford should be tapping into the diversity of the city.” The report will be discussed when the regeneration and economy overview and scrutiny committee next meets, tomorrow.