Chichester shop ‘could harm market’

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CONCERNS have been raised as to whether a council-backed produce shop could harm Chichester farmers’ market.

At a meeting of Chichester District Council’s cabinet members discussed plans for a Local Produce Shop at the former Tourist Information Centre, in South Street.

Assistant director of economy Kenrick Garraway said the shop would improve trade for up to 30 local producers, choice for customers and create up to 20 jobs in two years if it was supported.

Councillors, however, expressed concerns about the impact of the shop on the existing farmers market.

‘My concern is, does this compliment the farmers market or does it harm it,’ said council leader Heather Caird.

But Cllr Tony Dignum said the two could complement each other and the shop would help to give local produce a ‘permanent presence’ in the city.

West Sussex County Council has agreed a grant of £75,000 and it was suggested the council could provide a ‘sliding rent’ for three years.