Wolverhampton’s £5 million city centre market will celebrate its first anniversary this month with stall and cabin occupancy rates on the up.
The market relocated from Market Square and opened its gates for business at its purpose-built Cleveland Street site on July 17, 2018.
As part of a £1 billion investment on site or planned for the city centre, the development of the new market has led to the increase of trader occupancy in the 20 cabins and 48 stalls.
Occupancy of stalls is 36 per cent up on the previous year at the old market.
The busiest of the market’s four trading days is Tuesday, when there is 100 per cent occupancy, with other traders on a waiting list.
The introduction of a bakery, florist, seamstress, and outlets selling garden equipment, pet supplies, candles/melts, children’s sweets/ice slushies, vegan cakes, children’s clothing, and dreamcatchers/incense has expanded the offer.
Cabin occupancy has also risen and all 20 are now 100 per cent occupied.
The food offer is more varied, with Caribbean hot food, vegan wraps/salads and juices, Indian Street food, Thai street food and the traditional hot/cold food café offer all on the menu – complemented by seating areas within the market to encourage dwell times.
To mark the one-year anniversary of the market a special event has been organised on Saturday, July 27, from 10am to 2pm.
Wolverhampton Community Radio will be on site with their roadshow, offering the chance to win prizes from the market in interactive games, and soul singer, Lisa Morelle, will be performing.
Wolves mascot, Wolfie, will mingle with the crowds from 10.30am to 12pm, and there will be face painting and a bouncy castle for the kids.
Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “A year on, the benefits of the new city market are being enjoyed by traders and customers.
“The addition of new traders has provided a more varied range of sales lines to differentiate it from a traditional market offer.
“It has had a big impact on the city centre, providing vitality and important footfall to this area of the city, and is another example of the regeneration of Wolverhampton.
“I hope as many people as possible come out to celebrate its success on July 27 and enjoy a fun day out at our vibrant city centre market.”
Julie Emery of JD Produce fruit and vegetable store, said: “The traders are very happy with the new location, which has given the market a new lease of life.
“All the loyal customers from the old market have returned and we are attracting new traders and customers, boosting footfall to the market.”
James Price of Matt the Bakers, added: “Opening a bakery at the new city centre market has been a great move.
“We have seen the business grow and we love the location of what has already become a thriving market.”
The market offers the flexibility to trade from bigger cabins, event space, a secure site with measures in place to combat hostile vehicles while still allowing access for traders to load and unload, CCTV, integrated lighting and power, free WiFi, canopy-covered walkways, offices, customer toilets, and comprehensive parking and storage facilities.
The market has also benefited from increased footfall from the Wulfrun Centre and transport Interchange, as well as the nearby student catchment area.