Nottingham City Council has published the outcome of its consultation into the future of Victoria Indoor Market.
The consultation was carried out between April and June this year after the council’s Executive Board agreed in January to review future options for the market’s operation, putting forward a proposal to end the lease.
The Victoria Indoor Market has been operating for over 50 years with significant council investment of £400,000 in the food hall in 2012. For many years the council has heavily subsidised the market’s operation – with the ongoing subsidy costs over the remaining 50 years of the lease agreement estimated to amount to £39m. This includes considerable investment of up to £10m to enable the market to perform effectively.
From 2015 costs outside the council’s control substantially increased and this, along with significant Government funding cuts to council grants and changes in shopping habits exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic, have led to the review. The six-week consultation was carried out online and through meetings with the public and traders, generating 630 responses.
Findings show that most respondents (143) supported the council continuing to run, subsidise and invest (88) in the market. The next most popular option (85) was to establish a council-run market at an alternative location, while 53 agreed with the council’s proposals.
Acting Lead Councillor for Markets, Cllr Linda Woodings, said: “Our proposal to end the lease would save estimated running costs of £39m over the remaining 50 years of the current agreement, helping us to meet our duty to deliver value for money for local taxpayers.
“As expected, feedback from the consultation showed there is a great deal of affection for the market, with many respondents wanting the council to continue the market’s operation and subsidy and to carry out further investment.
“We have considered the feedback from the public, traders and the landlord. Following a review of the options in light of the consultee responses, the council’s officers are likely to recommend the council ends its lease and operation of the Victoria Market. We understand this would be a huge disappointment not only for customers and the wider public, but especially for traders at the market.
“We will now embark on further engagement with all traders and the landlord, before a final recommendation is made to councillors for a decision.” The consultation report is available here: https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/engage-nottingham-hub/closed-consultations/victoria-indoor-market/