Call goes out for ideas on how to make Gosport's market thrive again

Residents can have their say on Gosport high street’s market in a bid to breathe new life into the borough’s merchant heritage.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 2:45 pm

Coastal Collective, an online community of independent businesses, launched a public consultation alongside Gosport’s High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ).

It seeks to ask residents how the twice-weekly markets can be improved after a decreased footfall since the pandemic.

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Gosport Market on the day it reopened in the High Street after the first coronavirus lockdown - Tuesday, June 2, 2020 Picture: Sarah Standing (020620-9429)

A spokesperson from Coastal Collective said: ‘We aim to help Gosport Market once more be celebrated as a thriving street market and attraction.

‘We want to see it attract visitors from across the local area drawn by its themed markets offering locally grown produce, crafted goods and programmed events that might include music, performance and displays of vintage cars and motorbikes.

‘Moreover, we want to see Gosport Market become an example for 21st century UK street markets/fairs and contribute to the overall physical and economic enhancement of the town centre.

‘However, we can’t do this alone. By taking part in this questionnaire you are helping to create a clear picture of what Gosport Market will look like in the future and help us make it happen.’

Dave Watson, 53, has been trading meat in the market since he was 13 and is a third-generation trader in his family.

He said: ‘The demographic of traders is now anything from 50 to 60 years old.

‘There’s no new blood coming into it, it’s a difficult job, young people don’t want to work like that - I think that’s the root of the problem.

‘The rents aren't the issue, definitely not because Gosport Council is good to us.

‘It’s not attended well, the high street is in a bit of a decline anyway, you can’t just put your finger on Gosport there, you can say that about every little town centre market in the country.

‘I do have hope for it - I'm still trading and I still manage to make a living out of it so it hasn’t hit rock bottom.’

Residents can share their views on the online survey here.