REINSTATE Lurgan market as a matter of urgency, Craigavon councillors have demanded.
DUP Alderman Stephen Moutray urged council to take the lead in rejuvenating the market which diminished these last number of years.
Speaking at a meeting of Craigavon Borough Council, Alderman Moutray said Lurgan had been a market town since the 17th century.
He said Lurgan had an excellent plaza which may work for a market and currently there is an egg seller, a fish monger and a flower seller operating in the town.
“The Council should take the lead in driving this forward,” said the DUP councillor.
He mentioned Cookstown as an example and suggested that the Council bring someone in to reinvigorate the market.
“If we bring people in to buy flower or fish they will buy something else,” said Councillor Moutray.
“It will attract footfall,” he said.
“There seems to be uniform support in Lurgan Forward and Lurgan Chamber of Trade,” said the Councillor.
“The Council needs to take this forward. This is an opportunity to do something for the people of Lurgan in a difficult economic era,” he said.
Councillor Moutray put forward the motion that the Council ‘work with statutory agencies, the Chamber of Trade and Lurgan Forward to reinstate a market to Lurgan town centre as a matter of urgency’.
The motion was seconded by his party colleague Councillor Carla Lockhart who said: “THis is a historical market town yet it has no market.
“There are only two traders who have been persistent. It does need this momentum,” said Councillor Lockhart adding that it should be a regular market, not just for Christmas.
“We run a significant number of events in the town to encourage footfall and I think this could help,” she said.
“We should make Lurgan into a vibrant market town,” she said.
Sinn Fein Councillor Liam Mackle said anything that improves footfall in Lurgan should be supported.
“I was under the impression that the economic development department (of Craigavon Council) was already looking at this,” he said.
The Council director said they would set up meetings with the relevant agencies.
SDLP Councillor Joe Nelson said he would support it however voiced his concerns at possible traffic issues.
Ulster Unionist Councillor Meta Crozier said the town had lost out on an indoor and outdoor market. “We have to remember High Street in anything we do. Remember there will be Public Realm works in High Street and we want to make people use the whole of the town.”
Councillor Moutray said he was encouraged by the support but said the issue had been talked about for a long time and the last thing he wanted was to have meeting after meeting over two or three months. “This needs to be done pronto. Let’s see movement to get delivery on this.”