A community market featuring speciality Welsh produce is due to set up in the centre of Cardiff.
The Riverside Community Market Association (RCMA) aims to hold a market every second Thursday morning on the pedestrianised part of High Street, near Cardiff Castle, starting in a month.
The move was announced at the Sustainable Living in Cardiff event, held in Chapter Arts Centre, Canton at the start of a week of activities during Wales Sustainability Week.
Steve Garrett, chairman of RCMA, which runs Sunday’s Riverside market on the Taff embankment, told the Echo that owners of Castle and High Street Arcades, Curzon Real Estate Partners, had approached RCMA.
“They thought the market would be something that would bring vitality and flair to the area,” he said.
“We’ve agreed the time and location and I’m scoping out interest among the stall holders. I’ve had a really good response from them.
“Each farmers’ market that we run has its own characteristics and this one has to be distinctive to work.
“We’re going to focus on the best of Welsh artisan produce. It’s going to be speciality local food.”
Stallholders already expected to set up at the Thursday market will be selling Cothi Valley goats’ cheese, Penrhiw Farm meat, bread from Wigmore’s Bakery and Lebanese food from Falafel Wales as well as French crepes from La Creperie de Sophie.
Mr Garrett added: “We’re going to be adding to what’s on offer nearby, so that it benefits all the traders in the city centre. We see ourselves as promoting market shopping, which will benefit Central Market.”
But stallholders at Cardiff Central Market – which recently celebrated 120 years in the city – said the event on its doorstep would suck already dwindling trade.
Andrew Griffiths, owner of the Market Deli, said: “It’s going to chip away at the business.
“There are four Greggs within a five-minute walk from here. Tesco and Sainsbury’s sell milk for less than we can buy it. Our milk sales have halved since they opened. People go and grab a meal deal and stop coming here.
“There’s only so many bites of the cherry.”
Alan Griffiths, chairman of the Market Traders’ Association, said there had been a 25% reduction in footfall since pedestrianisation of St Mary Street and High Street.
“There are stalls in our market which have been empty for years,” he said. “It will take away the livelihoods of people who are here 52 weeks a year, not just every other week.”
But Curzon director Nick Griffith said: “The added vibrancy that the market will bring about will attract more people to the area. There are a lot of people in Cardiff mid-week, so this string to our bow is good news.”
A council spokesperson said they were discussing the idea of a market with key stakeholders.
In preparation for when the work on High Street and St Mary Street is completed, the council was working closely with arcade landlords and retailers to improve the area and attract more shoppers and visitors.
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