By KLTV Newsdesk –
Local community interest company Holmfirth Forward has been awarded the licence to operate the town’s local market.
In 2018 it was decided that Kirklees Council would no longer run a market in Holmfirth, and agreements were made for a licence to run the market to be offered to an external company.
Earlier in the year expressions of interest were invited from private and community operators for the opportunity to hold the licence to run a market in Holmfirth.
From that process, Holmfirth Forward were selected as the successful organisation.
They are a Community Interest Company (C.I.C.) that has worked with local organisations and businesses to develop a vision for the market.
Holmfirth Forward are now looking to locate and agree on a suitable venue within the town centre, as the market will no longer be able to operate from the existing building.
Existing market traders will also be introduced to the new market licence holder early in the new year.
Michael Bell of Holmfirth Forward’s Market Team said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the licence for Holmfirth Market.
“We have worked closely with local organisations and businesses as well as local residents to develop our vision for the market.
“We know there has been considerable concern about the future of the market and want to create a modern market as this is key to the vitality and viability of a town centre.
Mr Bell also noted the importance of building upon the historic market tradition of Holmfirth.
He added: “[We] are very grateful for the support we have received from the National Market Traders Federation and Joe Barrett of the Teenage Market.
“We will use our diverse experience and by working along with other markets and traders in Kirklees, we will create a fresh and attractive offer for local people and visitors to the town.
“We believe Holmfirth has a bright future. A lot of change is ahead and Covid means there are many challenges facing Holmfirth Market and the existing businesses but with collaboration and with the support of Kirklees Council, we think we can come through successfully and build a thriving modern market that will bring more people to the town.”
Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees said: “The awarding of the market licence is excellent news and will help provide some security to the future of a market in Holmfirth for existing traders and residents.
Continuing to have a market in Holmfirth, which proudly considers itself to be a market town, will contribute to the overall retail offer to both residents and visitors.
“The market should act as a driver to increase footfall across the town so all businesses can benefit, alongside opportunities for local artists and performers to showcase their work.
“Support from traders and residents will be imperative to the success of the market moving forward and I firmly believe it will get the full support from the people of Holmfirth and surrounding areas.”