Public urged for fresh ideas from Carmarthen market traders
IF Carmarthen wants a more vibrant market, it needs to come up with ideas to achieve it.
That's the view of several stallholders at the £4 million facility, who have called on the public to step forward with suggestions
And traders also say greater collaboration between them is needed to make it more vibrant to shoppers — with some admitting the hall is too clinical and lacks the character of its predecessor.
Last week some traders pointed the blame at Carmarthenshire Council for not promoting the market enough — which was rebuffed by the local authority, who said several efforts have and are being made to boost the venue's profile.
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It followed criticism directed at the market by the Carmarthen Chamber of Trade and Commerce earlier this month.
Now, some traders say they need to club together to revamp the market – and get public feedback too.
Danny Van Opstao, of the Good Food cheese stall, said he did not have an answer to turn around the market's fortunes, but said traders were not always on the same page as each other
"Some don't want to know and are not interested in doing anything to improve the market," he said.
"There's an attitude problem which makes changing hard for the rest of us."
He said simple steps to encourage people into the market would include opening the doors wide in summer months — but some traders disliked that.
Paul Lloyd, who has been at the market (both the former indoor and current one) for seven years, said: "Traders are not united, that's a problem here.
"I go to trader meetings and there's always the same handful of us.
"Some traders here have never been to a meeting of the market.
"We need to work together more but we find the council are not doing enough regardless of what they have said."
He added not enough was being done to fill empty stalls, pointing to one yards from his own.
Mr Lloyd added: "That has been empty since the autumn so why can't it be filled?
"Surely it should be out to tender and filled?"
Richard Mulcock, of Richard's Quality Cooked Meats, said: "We want the public to tell us what they want from the market.
"Tell us where we are going wrong and what can be done to attract them in here.
"If they can tell us that much it will be a start."