Council responds to claims 'apathetic' Aylesbury is in danger of losing its market town status

Bucks Council has responded to resident concerns regarding the lack of businesses regularly trading at Aylesbury market.

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 21st June 2022, 4:39 pm

Concerned readers contacted The Bucks Herald arguing that Aylesbury no longer acts as the thriving market town it claims to be.

Most recently a reader commented that on a busy Saturday afternoon when the town was busy just three stalls were erected.

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Archive photo of Market Square

Old photos of Aylesbury town centre in the 1970s and 80s show a thriving market culture.

Stalls stand back-to-back with visitors having to navigate their way through a crowded market zone.

Rarely does Market Square replicate such a chaotic scene these days.

Aylesbury market thriving over 30 years ago

A reader told The Bucks Herald she was ‘shocked’ to discover just three stalls on a busy Saturday afternoon.

She said: “What has happened to our market? Are those in the higher echelons just waiting until there are no more stalls and leaving a cobble stoned space instead?

“On the continent the local market is of great importance. Will apathetic Aylesbury allow our market to die?”

While sympathetic to the reader’s concerns, Bucks Council is unconcerned with the perception.

It says an ‘unusual situation’ resulted in just three traders operating in the big open space in the town centre.

The council also highlights that traders and new start-ups regularly get in touch wanting to sell goods at Aylesbury market.

Councillor Peter Strachan said: "We're sorry to hear there have been a couple of negative comments from the public about the number of traders at Aylesbury Market recently.

"On a Wednesday, our Charter Market has six regular traders, most of whom have large pitches providing a diverse offer. However, this number can reduce when traders take holidays or are sick.

"On 8 June, we had the unusual situation of having traders on leave and traders who were sick, resulting in just three stalls operating. This was an unfortunate and rare combination making the space look empty – and certainly not the norm.

"Our Friday market (food focus) and Saturday market both have a strong core of regular established traders bringing colour and cheer to Market Square. We also receive regular enquiries from established traders and new start-ups who are interested in trading at Aylesbury Market and actively follow these up. We also work hard to support casual traders to become regular traders.

"We have plans to improve the public realm in Kingsbury and Market Square and this will help make the market operating area an even better environment to trade.

"Plans are still being finalised on this scheme and will be publicly released once we are able to. We're excited to see this regeneration start as it will bring further vibrancy and vitality to the town centre and our market."