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Charter Market revamp: have your say in our public consultation

Publication date:

Plans to give St Albans’ historic Charter Market an exciting new look have gone out to consultation.

The main proposal is to introduce gazebos in uniform colours as a permanent replacement for the old-style market stalls.

Traders are now being consulted about the revamp and shown artists’ impressions of how the market could change.

Shops on St Peter’s Street - where the market is based - and surrounding streets are also invited to give their views along with residents and other local businesses and organisations.

It is hoped the changes will give the Charter Market a modern, dynamic appearance and attract more shoppers. This should help with the long-term recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Gazebos are a more eco-friendly option than the stalls as they are put up and down without the use of diesel-powered mini-tractors.

The tractors, which are no longer used, were required to help transport the heavy metal-framed stalls and canopies as they were erected or dismantled.

Since the pandemic, traders have been bringing their own differently-coloured gazebos to the twice-weekly market for safety reasons. This measure makes the market more COVID-secure as it reduces and contains the number of people who need to handle the fixtures.

St Albans City and District Council runs the market which started in the 9th Century and gained its Royal Charter in 1553.

Councillor Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture, said:

Our plans for the Charter Market are intended to give it a new lease of life when it is fully operational again and also to improve the City Centre environment.

This will help our businesses recover from the pandemic when COVID restrictions eventually ease.

Modernising the market by providing attractive gazebos in matching colours will greatly enhance the look and atmosphere of St Peter’s Street on market days.

We’re now talking with a range of stakeholders about these ambitious plans. Most importantly, we want to get the traders on board as they are what the market is all about.

We want to ensure we have their support for our proposals as well as the City’s retail sector, shoppers, residents and visitors. I urge everyone to take part in the consultation and give their views.

The market hasn’t undergone a major facelift like this for many, many years and we believe our plans will be a major improvement.

You can see proposed designs and give your views here:

Traders are also being consulted about new policies intended to make the operation of the market fairer and more transparent.

The run-down market depot, in Drovers Ways, is also being redeveloped by the Council.

Plans to build a four-storey building on the site, including much-needed social housing, have been approved by the Council’s Cabinet. For more details about that scheme, please see:

Pictures: how the Charter Market might look in the future by Hannah Sessions, a Charter Market Trader, (top) and Sarah Gillow (bottom two).

Councillor contact:  
Mandy McNeil, Portfolio Holder for Business, Tourism and Culture: 07584 198999,

Media contacts; 
John McJannet,
Principal Communications Officer,
Tel: 01727 819533