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Clare could reclaim ‘market town’ title as plans to end 20-year hiatus and return regular market mooted

PUBLISHED: 15:14 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 15:14 20 March 2017

Clare town sign. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Clare town sign. Picture: SU ANDERSON

An up and coming Suffolk wool town could be set to reclaim their title of ‘market town’, as plans to restart the regular market for the first time in 20 years are mooted.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council are set to ask residents and businesses in Clare whether they would back the return of the market at a drop in event in the town next week.

Clare’s market dwindled in the 1990s, before eventually closing down. More than 20 years later a group of businesses and individuals approached St Edmundsbury to look into the possibility of reinstating it.

The borough already runs regular markets in Bury St Edmunds and Haverhill and is asking residents and businesses for their views at the drop in event.

Alaric Pugh, Clare councillor and borough cabinet member for growth, said: “A strong market with a good mix of stalls can really enhance a town centre, serving the needs of the town’s residents as well as attracting more shoppers and visitors.

“Clare is a fantastic town with wonderful charm and character, but perhaps a weekly or monthly market could make it more special still if, and only if, it had the right mix of interesting stalls and traders.

“This could even be a good place for new Clare businesses to experiment.”

The drop in will offer residents and businesses a chance to say if they are for or against the return of a market to the town.

If they are in favour they will also be asked whether it should be a weekly or monthly market and where would be a good location for it in the town.

Mr Pugh added: “The town council has reported that initial feedback from the recent parish survey already suggests that there will be strong support for the market’s return and should this happen we want to ensure that it is very successful.

“With that in mind we will also be asking those attending this event what produce and other items would they like to see being sold on their market, what are their views on opening times and for any other suggestions that they may have.”

The drop in event takes place between 5pm to 8pm on Tuesday, March 28, at the Bell Hotel in Clare.

Anyone unable to attend can give their views by emailing Sharon.fairweather@westsuffolk.gov.uk or telephoning 01284 757093

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