October date for reopening of town market

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Lurgan’s new market will be up and running by October after it was given the go-ahead by Craigavon Borough Council after almost a year of consultations.

There are to be 12 stalls situated under canopies on the new plaza in the centre of town.

The council is to buy 12 heavy duty stalls at a cost of £14,628. Stalls would be charged at £25 each per day and all traders will get one month free trading or three months if they sign up for a full year.

Council decided on a black and white strip canopies rather than the more popular green and white.

It is projected the income from the stalls will be £14,400 per annum with all 12 stalls occupied over 48 weeks in the year.

Lurgan has been a market town since the 17th century and until around 30 years ago there was a thriving market in Carnegie Street.

Traders were then moved to the town centre and with the new public realm works beginning four years ago, the few market traders who had been coming to Lurgan were forced to move to Castle Lane. The number of traders declined and currently there is just a flower seller and a woman who sells fish returning to Lurgan on a weekly basis.

Lurgan councillors have been lobbying council staff to reinstate the market and some had voiced concern that officers had been focussing on a short term Christmas market rather than a long term sustainable market.

Following consultations, a full business plan was presented to councillors last month and on Monday the proposals were rubberstamped.

Several councillors said officers should approach the ‘Flower Man’ and the ‘Fish Woman’ who had continually been trading in Lurgan despite the demise of the market.

They suggested they would be anchor stalls as they were well supported.

DUP Alderman Stephen Moutray said the flower man was well utilised and if he were incorporated into the market it would bring footfall.

A council official said Road Service approval would be required cause it has control of the plaza.