Changes planned for Knaresborough Market with an aim to revitalise


Harrogate Borough Council has said it has plans to reduce the costs for having a stall at Knaresborough Market, but stall holders will now have to provide their own stalls.

The council say that this is an effort to revitalise the market and spend money in the right way, with an emphasis on the content of the market and promoting it.

Councillor Richard Cooper, Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, said:  

Our market stall charges are well above average for our region.  At the same time our markets are in decline.

One only has to walk up the High Street in Northallerton on a Saturday to see what a vibrant market looks like.

The reason our markets are not thriving is twofold.  Firstly, we are running our markets in the same way that we have done for decades.  Markets elsewhere have changed how they operate giving traders the freedom to use their own stalls so that they can exhibit and sell their goods in the way they want.  This level of freedom attracts more and more traders.

Secondly our prices are way above the regional average.  Why should a trader come to our markets when they are allowed so little latitude to show off their wares and forced to pay so much more for the privilege.

So today I can announce that we are reducing our fees to below the regional average for markets.

I know some of those who like the way we currently set up the stalls will not want to change.

But the important thing here is to reverse the decline in markets, get new traders in and drop the prices so that the markets grow again.  This will in turn attract more people to our commercial centres boosting trade for all retailers.



  1. Otley has a vibrant and thriving market. There is something to suit all tastes on sale. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that Otley has suspended parking charges in the car parks on Saturdays from now until Christmas. The market really is busy.

    • Being a market trader myself on both Knaresborough and Otley market for over 10 years, I have to say that Knaresborough market is 10 x better .
      It has a far better and larger selection of stalls , plus a lot more visitors .

  2. Totally agree. The parking in Knaresborough is ridiculous. The problem is volume rather than cost. Planners urgently need to consider plans for additional parking if the markets and the town retailers are to thrive.

  3. What a load of fabricated rubbish, why not try speaking to the traders and finding out the real facts??
    If the council cease to provide stalls for the traders you will lose the market completely and as for creating a vibrant market you be left with approx 4 traders if you are lucky .
    This will not encourage new traders but deter them from starting a new business venture.
    As for reducing the rents ??? a £1 reduction on an already overpriced market is an insult.
    It is not possible for most traders to provide their own stalls ie. van size, health , and age.
    If the council what to create a vibrant market then would it not be wise to work with the traders they already have instead of forcing them away.
    The rents they charge are higher then any other markets in the area , which is hardly surprising when the council themselves are charging over £20.000 a year to store their own stalls.
    Take away the stalls and you will lose your market, Period !!!

  4. Knaresborough has a very popular market and perhaps it may benefit the leader of Harrogate council to visit the market and see for himself. It would also provide him with an opportunity to speak with stallholders and get their opinion of the proposals.

  5. Our “Market Town” is to become a town without a market! Harrogate council have really excelled in their stupidity. Whatever next! a Spa Town without a Spa.

  6. CLOSE Knaresborough Market!!!

    I am campaigning for the market to be closed! It doesn’t create important revenue because it takes revenue from local businesses who have to pay business rates! Does any body bother to ask the retailers who rent shops in the area how much their takings are down every Wednesday?

    The future doesn’t have room for nostalgia…the older generation are afraid of change. There are better options available to Knaresborough in order for it to thrive.

    The market is a hindrance to its prosperity!

    It’s time for change. There are many people who would prefer to stand in the way of change but change is inevitable and even those who initially oppose it eventually agree that it is for the benefit of the good in the end.

    We’ll done Harrogate Borough Council for realising that there was always going to be opposition but Councils are under pressure to make severe cutbacks so they have no choice but to spend Taxpayers money wisely and in a responsible manner. The market is a drain on public resources.

    • What a load of bull to the person saying to close the market! There are two reasons I go to knaresborough at all: my Drs is there and for the market. Most of the high street stores can be found in Harrogate, which has much more on offer to go to if I want to take a shopping trip, when I go into the market I often get whatever other bits I need in the shops there to save me an extra trip but without the market there I would rather go into Harrogate.
      I’m sure I’m not the only one that does this either.

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