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Cambridge City Council

Cambridge market square consultation extended to include trials of new market stall designs

News release from 19 July 2021

CAMBRIDGE City Council has extended its public consultation on a proposed multi-million pound project to renovate and improve the city’s historic market square until 31 July. 

The public consultation focuses on a proposed Vision and Concept Design to transform the market square into a high quality, multi-functional civic space, which is inclusive and supports a diverse range of day, evening and night-time community uses, in and around its continuing daytime use as a venue for the city’s popular and successful daily outdoor market.    

To be able to use the square for other uses when it is not being used for the outdoor market, such as in the evening, the permanent fixed market stalls which currently occupy the square would need to be replaced with market stalls which are demountable – ie. able to be taken down and put up easily – whilst also fulfilling traders’ operational business needs.   

As part of the extended consultation, market traders, shoppers and the wider community will have the opportunity to view and comment on two market stall demountable system units which are on display on the market until the end of this month. 

These units come in a range of sizes up to a maximum of 3 x 3 metres in tradeable area and can be configured to meet the requirements of a variety of different trader business types, including retail, hot food and fresh produce.   

The council is continuing to seek to explore whether or not there are other commercially available alternative demountable stall systems to trial on the same initial two week ‘test’ basis. The purpose of the initial ‘test’ trial is to see whether or not there is support for investing in a longer term, more extensive operational trial of the demountable system units over the coming autumn/winter period.   

The council has worked with market trader representatives to develop a design brief and evaluation criteria for demountable stall systems to be selected and trialled against. Some of the key design brief and evaluation criteria include: 

  • Canopy durability, ie whether it is waterproof, fire-proof, tear-proof  
  • Practicalities of setting up and taking down  
  • Adaptability of internal layout to meet different traders’ business needs  
  • Wind resistance 
  • Storage needs 
  • Transport needs 

Subject to a positive response to the initial display trial, the second stage of the trial will involve selecting a preferred supplier or suppliers for a full operational trial of the selected demountable stall systems during the remainder of this year.   

This full trial would involve hiring 5-10 stall units, with layouts suitable for different types of trader and securing the agreement of different trader businesses to use the selected stall units in place of their usual fixed stalls for a defined trial period.  

Cllr Rosy Moore, Executive Councillor for Climate Change, Environment and City Centre, said: “A critical overall objective of the project is to safeguard the long-term future of the market and the diverse range of small independent trader businesses, which contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of the city centre, both socially and economically.   

“The demountable stall systems we are trialling this month will play an important part in developing the overall proposals to improve our much-loved market square, for both market traders, those who use the market and the wider city community. 

“I’d urge anyone with an interest in the future of the market square to get down there to take a look at the trial stalls on display, and to have their say on these and on the overall Vision and Concept Design proposals for this key city centre civic space by 31 July.” 

To take part in the consultation on the proposed Market Square Vision and Concept Design, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Cambridge-Market-Square-Project-Public-Consultation. To provide feedback on the demountable stall trial, visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Demountable-stall-trial. The deadline for completing both is Saturday, 31 July.

The results of the consultation, together with any proposed changes to the proposed Vision and Concept Design and recommended next steps in the project’s development, are due to be reported to the council’s Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee in March 2022.