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Use empty Southend shop for farmers' market, say campaigners
11:10am Wednesday 9th January 2013 in Echo News
CAMPAIGNERS want supermarket chiefs to allow them to use an empty shop for a monthly farmers’ market.
Residents in Eastwood, led by Tory councillor Mark Flewitt, have asked bosses at the Morrisons store in Western Approaches to consider handing over the keys to the neighbouring shop on a temporary basis.
The former betting office is part of a parade of shops owned by the supermarket.
Mr Flewitt said: “It seems to make sense to use it rather than leave it empty.
“A farmers’ market has already proved popular in the area and I don’t believe it would act as competition to Morrisons.
“If anything, it could draw more customers there.”
A farmers’ market already visits Southend’s High Street twice a month.
However, Mr Flewitt believes there is plenty of appetite for another event.
He estimated the former betting office could comfortably accommodate about ten to 12 stalls, selling everything from organic food to soft furnishings.
He said: “I have written to the supermarket’s management to ask if it is something they would consider doing.
“It’s imperative that any site for the market comes without disproportionate costs, and I think this could be a real chance for Morrisons to do something for the community.
“It would be much better than staring at an empty shop.”
No one from Morrisons was available for comment.