HEMSWORTH Market has been saved after the town council stepped in to take over the running of the facility.
Wakefield Council announced earlier this year that the market could close due to budget cuts but it has now reached an agreement with Hemsworth Town Council, which is expected to take over the market at the end of October once details of the proposal have been finalised.
It is thought the town council might relaunch Saturday as a second hand market in a bid to attract more traders and customers.
The market has been declining in recent years and now relieved traders are asking members of the community to help them stay afloat.
Cathy Ellis said: “We need the support of the whole town. If every member of the community bought just one item a week we would be better off.”
Barry Kellock said: “We are really relieved that the market has been saved but something needs to be done to revive it. We need more people to start shopping here, which in turn will attract more traders. We need our community to help.”
Graham Lee said: “Something does need to be done - the area could do with a clean-up. I think the town council will be better for the market because local councillors will probably have more pride in the area and want to see it succeed more than the people in Wakefield.”
Taking over the running of the market will cost the town council around £21,000 a year plus a peppercorn rent to the district council.
In an effort to reverse the decrease in trade, councillors will be looking at improving the market’s advertising, signage and publicity.
Coun Tony Upson, chairman 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.”
Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s 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.”
Discussions are still ongoing about the future of South Elmsall Market.