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Historic Charter Market is “thriving and showing substantial growth”

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The historic St Albans Charter Market continues to grow by attracting more traders with the number of occupied pitches also increasing sharply, new figures have revealed.

During the four months of June to September 2023, the average number of traders working at the weekly Wednesday markets was up 22% compared to the same period last year.

The number of occupied pitches rose by 37% with many traders operating from two or more pitches.

At the weekly Saturday markets, the number of traders was up 16% and the number of pitches they occupied was up 26%.

The Sunday market, held on the second Sunday of every month, has also been growing significantly.

Over the same quarter, the number of traders was up by an average of 11% and the number of occupied pitches rose 16%.

The markets are run in the City Centre by St Albans City and District Council and an update on the figures was given to a meeting of its Strategy and Resources Committee.

Councillor Chris White, the Committee’s Chair and Council Leader, said after the meeting:

I am delighted to see that our twice-weekly Charter Market as well as the monthly Sunday market are thriving and showing substantial growth.

This was despite more rain this summer as well as cooler temperatures than the same period last year.

My thanks go to the market traders and our own markets team for all their hard work in revitalising this priceless service after the ravages of the pandemic.

The more traders we attract, the more choice and excitement there is for shoppers with all sorts of interesting products now on sale such as kitchenware, outdoor furniture and natural jewellery made from plant-based material.

The Charter Market has been going for centuries and helps to create a distinctive, vibrant atmosphere in the City Centre. We are determined that it will continue to thrive and have introduced popular measures such as occasional live entertainment and gazebos in uniform St Albans colours of blue and yellow.

We will continue with these efforts to ensure we have a Market to be proud of at the very heart of St Albans.

The Strategy and Resources Committee meeting was held on Thursday 28 September.

Pictures: top, the bustling Charter Market; below, some of the traders who have helped the Market thrive: Ertugrvl Istanbullu, Sade Hane jewellery; Manish Panchal, Eat Wholefoods; Alfred Daniels, Sesame Kingdom; Alison and Mark Williams at their Happy Elephant natural jewellery stall with comic actor Johnny Vegas, centre; and Donna Smith, Teak Garden Furniture.