Brigg Blog has early 1960s childhood memories of being taken on a big green Lincolnshire Road Car double-decker bus to Scunthorpe Market - the old one in the centre of the steel town before the current indoor market was established in the early 1970s.
So we have been interested to hear about an ambitious scheme to move the current Scunthorpe indoor market to a former department store.
Brigg's Coun Rob Waltham - in his role as Leader of North Lincolnshire Council - has commented at length about what's in the pipeline.
Many people from Brigg like to visit Scunthorpe Market during shopping trips.
So - largely for their benefit - we are sharing the details (see below).
We went shopping with mother around Brigg Market on many a Thursday in the 1960s.
The first thing drummed into children back then was to keep a very close eye out for traffic, as the Market Place stalls were beside the A18 and vehicles of all sizes trundled past.
This was far from ideal and through traffic ceased when the pedestrianisation scheme was introduced during the 1990s.
However, as we've said so many times on Brigg Blog, some motorists continue to ignore the No Entry signs and drive into the town centre without just cause.
"Loading Only" is what the signs say is permitted. No reference is made to visiting cash points or using the pedestrian area as a short cut!
A local question arising out of the council's plans for Scunthorpe town centre is whether Brigg might benefit from moving our market stalls indoors.
Brigg's Market Charter was granted in the early 13th century, since when stalls have always been outdoors (see picture above).
The former HSBC bank premises are currently for sale, with NatWest's imposing building due to close in June.
Buying either would be expensive for the public purse and the outlay could never be recovered by way of rents from stallholders.
There's also an issue about whether these premises would be large enough.
It might be possible to house the Thursday general market stalls but the very popular monthly farmers' market would be too extensive to accommodate.
Location revealed for new indoor market for Scunthorpe
|A vision of how the new Market Hall will look|
Plans to invest in a new, modern, indoor market that will continue the regeneration of Scunthorpe town centre have been discussed with traders.
The existing Scunthorpe Market building requires a multi-million pound refurbishment to meet the current appropriate standards.
In addition, traders would have to move to a temporary facility or cease trading whilst the building was re-fitted. Both traders and shoppers were clear this was not an option during a recent consultation.
The Leader of North Lincolnshire Council Cllr Rob Waltham revealed the former BHS store in the Parishes is the preferred new home for the market.
“These plans not only create a great new location for a modern, vibrant indoor market but also bring back into life a prominent town centre store,” Cllr Waltham said.
“In fact many traders and shoppers suggested BHS as a new home for the market in the consultation.
“We have listened to our residents and traders and the result is this exciting announcement for Scunthorpe town centre.
“The former BHS store is a terrific location, close to the bus station where footfall is high and in the heart of the town’s retail offer. Also we hope that the new market will help support other retailers to take up units in the area.
“We have been through an extensive business planning process and relocating the market to BHS provides best value for local taxpayers, whilst also keeping the current market trading.”
This represents a substantial investment as part of the council and business led £60-million commitment to regenerate Scunthorpe town centre, said Cllr Waltham.
“There is a lot of work to do but now we have a location, we can work with traders on the detail,” he said.
This option will allow the traders to continue trading at the existing site until the new facility is ready to open for business, ensuring minimum disruption to their livelihood.
The new market will also be important to the wider business community in the town centre.
“Our stated aim is to bring more visitors into Scunthorpe. We are one of the only councils in the country to offer free car parking and hundreds of thousands of visits prove how this is supporting our local economy and providing a free offer to our residents.
“Now we are keen to continue to support more employment and business opportunities in and around the town centre.”
“We are determined to transform the town centre into a successful retail, education, employment and leisure destination.
“Most of the town centre investment will come from businesses; the council is a small but instrumental player in improving the town.” Cllr Waltham said.
“However, this investment sends out a clear message that we are serious about increasing prosperity in North Lincolnshire.”
Increased footfall through a quality market offer are the objectives. He pointed to the success of Ashby Market as an example of how a market could be revitalised.
“This is a new concept - it is not a simple relocation.”
“We are looking to create a market that has a real buzz and great atmosphere. Somewhere customers want to go and traders want to be.”
“If people doubt our ambitions I would point them in the direction of Ashby. The investment there and the subsequent move has regenerated the area.”
“We have a waiting list of traders wanting to be part of it. That’s what we want to do with the new market in Scunthorpe.”
Cllr Waltham said there was a commitment from the council to consultation throughout the development process.