Shoppers will have their first glimpse of a “new era” as Herne Bay market stalls begin trading in the town centre on Saturday. Canterbury City Council officials have been planning the move since September last year as part of the regeneration of Herne Bay. The decision has sparked a mixed response from people concerned about the removal of brick planters, leaving the town centre bare. Some shopkeepers are worried that identical businesses might set up outside their shops. But the council’s coastal towns manager Chris West said that everything was ready to go for the first day.
“I’m really confident about the new market, and hoping for some reasonable weather. Everything is in place, and the work to remove the remaining brick planters in Mortimer Street should be completed tomorrow afternoon (Friday). It has been challenging, but a positive challenge for the whole town. I hope it will be a new era for the town and it’s something I’m really looking forward to. I’m sure that traders and businesses will benefit from it.”
Mr West added that new mobile planters were also ready to be put in place in a few weeks time, pending any teething problems in the new arrangements. The council wanted to move the stalls from the former site in King’s Road to make way for the first phase of a new £50 million development of the town centre. The old site used to be a gas-works, but could soon house an Aldi supermarket as part of a new town centre with shops, cafes and bars. Herne Bay MP Sir Roger Gale is expected to attend the new market, which will see stalls set up in Mortimer Street and William Street. It opens from 10am to 4pm.
Herne Bay Gazette, May 1st 2014