Gosport trader says action is needed to improve town centre and boost market

Residents can have their say on how to improve Gosport’s street markets, in the hope of enhancing the borough's long-standing merchant heritage.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 3:20 pm

Gosport Borough Council plans to improve the town's Tuesday and Saturday street markets due to a decrease in footfall since the pandemic.

Mike Jones has been market trading in Gosport for 25 years and believes that the borough doesn’t encourage people to shop in town.

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Gosport Market on the day it reopened in June last year after the first coronavirus lockdown Picture: Sarah Standing (020620-9429)

‘It doesn’t draw people in - a lot of empty shops there and not very good shops.’ he said.

‘It doesn’t help with a lot of homeless living on the street, doesn’t help with scooters shooting up and down, kids on bikes, unruly.

‘Parking is expensive in Gosport compared to the Marks and Spencer car park where the out-of-town shopping is, that’s free parking but if they come into town they have to pay.

‘There isn’t much to come into town for, they come into town to go to Portsmouth, they get the ferry across to Gunwharf.

‘It used to be a lot more thriving, a lot more things going on, few events some of the time.’

Councillor Graham Burgess, leader of the council said: ‘Markets are very important to the Gosport community, they've always been a facet of life in villages, towns and cities.

‘We used to have the biggest market on the south coast, and I'm hoping that as we come out of the covid pandemic that people get out more.

‘We’re looking to attract more vendors to the market which will give it added vibrancy.

Improvements will be funded through the High Streets Heritage Action Zone, a government-funded scheme delivered by Historic England to breathe new life into historic high streets.

Residents can share their views on the council's website.