The findings of a review into the performance and operation of the four existing district markets at Penistone, Goldthorpe, Hoyland and Wombwell have been discussed by Barnsley Cabinet members today (Wednesday, 15 July).
They have agreed recommendations on how to proceed.
The review looked at:
- The financial performance of each of the four district markets,
- the physical characteristics and condition of each market,
- customer and trader views.
Taking into account the findings of the review, members have approved a report which sets out a series of reforms in order to move the markets to a sounder financial footing in the short to medium term.
The report recommended that Cabinet members note the findings of the district markets review and the headline findings summarised as follows:
- Two out of the four district markets currently make an operating loss (Goldthorpe and Penistone), which is largely due to the staffing costs attached to each market.
- The shopping demographic at each market is showing a declining aging customer base who live within a very close proximity, indicating they are struggling to attract new and younger shoppers. The market environment is very poor at Goldthorpe and confused at Wombwell given its proximity to the retail units. The market at Hoyland will be improved further through the proposed development, and Penistone benefits from the recently built barn.
- All of the markets recorded a negative Net Promoter Score which means none of their existing customers would recommend them.
Cabinet members were asked to approve a number of interventions along with an intention to undertake further community engagement.
Cllr Roy Miller, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place, said: “This has been a very comprehensive review of the district markets and showed that there is a lot of work to be done in order for them to be successful and run at a profit. We are also proposing to work with the local community and traders in Goldthorpe to move towards a handover of the market, following an initial trial and transition period.”