I’m sure you will be well aware, many retail businesses are set to open on Monday 12th April. The UK high street has been hit hard in the last few years. Even before Covid it was hit with ever decreasing footfall and public interest has seen the industry laid bare.
Eco Communities want to ask how our high streets can survive in a post COVID world. Is Chester’s new market project part of the answer and where can it fit into the environmental revolution?
As part of the ongoing Tellus TV series (every Tuesday), Eco Communities dedicated an evening to answering these questions.
Is the Chester Market development the answer?
Helen Tandy, director of Eco Communities said ‘The Eco Communities team are excited to see signs of all shops and hospitality reopening and the fantastic images of the new Chester Market which will be ready next year.
Chester’s new market has everything to become a fantastic hub for Chester, but we are keen to explore how we can support businesses in Chester in the meantime and how this new project will help to support them for the foreseeable future.’
Independent retailers are what give our towns, cities, and high streets a heart, makes them unique.
This is no different than in Chester where some stores have been in operation for over a hundred years, they are the lifeblood of Chester’s city centre.
But as the new Chester Market project gets closer, what effect can it have on the dwindling footfall for some of Chester’s independent stores, and what do we do in the meantime. Chester has had a Market since 1159, but the new market promises to be one for the 21st century and beyond.
The idea behind the new Chester Market is for a bespoke, indoor market hall to be at the centre of the Northgate development, to be a new hub for trade in the city centre.
With a Manifesto: All Good
- Good for the Planet
- Good for the Community
- Good for Chester
- Good for Gatherings
- Good for Food
- Good for Business
Chester’s status as a Sustainable Palm Oil City it makes sense the market will promote certified sustainable products and ingredients. They also want to prioritise locally sourced products with lower carbon footprints and ensure drinking fountains are available for bottle refills.
Eco Communities founders initiated the Plastic Free Chester campaign, so we are pleased to see they plan to remove single use plastics.
The new Chester Market is set to open next summer; however, question marks do remain over what sort of impact it can truly have and whether it can kickstart a new era for the city’s traders, but as an Eco organisation we are excited to find out.
In light of the ongoing climate and economic crises, we can’t afford to wait for more than a year to rejuvenate our City and so what can we do in the meantime?
We moved away from shopping for our goods in specialised stores in the 70’s and 80’s in favour of the bright lights, convenience, and plastic laden supermarkets we know today.
However, recent years have seen a rise in a new type of shopping experience, one centred around global consciousness over convenience.
In 2018 Thornton Budgens launched the first plastic free supermarket in London and zero waste shops (such as Just Footprints in Chester) are steadily on the rise.
Will you be supporting our City as lockdown eases?
Can the Chester Market development move Chester towards a new time of less waste, less processed food and to a world of super markets over supermarkets?
Want to know more about the new Chester Market, Plastic Free Shopping and the sustainable future of our city? Check out our Shopping Special.
– Helen Tandy