Derry’s once bustling street market is set to get a major overhaul to help reverse its decline.
Plans are now under way to triple the number of stalls and to diversify the offering at the Walled City Market, ahead of a relaunch in April.
Members of Derry & Strabane Council’s Business & Culture Committee were told this week that the market has declined from around 30 stalls at its peak, to just 10.
A budget of £60,000 has been set aside to lay the foundations for the overhaul.
The market will remain at Guildhall Square, where it has been located since 2004.
The committee was told that the market has never recovered after being moved to the City Walls and Queen’s Quay Car Park from 2010 to 2012 due to Guildhall Square being redeveloped. Other reasons cited by traders and customers for the decline included a decrease in the variety of products and traders at the market, and a shift in consumer trends since 2004.
As part of the overhaul a new marketing campaign to relaunch the market will be undertaken, with resources dedicated specifically to developing and managing the market “to ensure its success”.
Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue said: “The footfall follows the offering, and the offering has reduced to a third,” she said, adding: “It’s great to have a market within the city and given the Tourist Office is relocating hopefully that will help with foot fall.”
She further suggested that local craft artists who cannot afford stalls of their own should be given access to shared space within the revived market.