Dorchester Wednesday market £27k shortfall

Dorchester Wednesday market £27k shortfall

Published by George Sharpe at 4:28pm 27th June 2019. (Updated at 7:33am 28th June 2019)

Profits from Dorchester’s Wednesday market are continuing to fall with a drop in the number of stalls and visitors.

  • The market's brought in £27,000 less than was originally projected for the last financial year.
  • The council's had to dip into a reserve fund to pay for repairs and improvements, for the first time.
  • However, Cornhill stall market continues to grow and generates £25,000 a year for the council.

The situation has not been helped by an undetected major water leak which cost £5,700 and the need to carry out a series of repairs and improvements to market buildings.

Dorchester Market brought in £27k less than was expected in the last financial year
Dorchester Market brought in £27k less than was expected in the last financial year

'Dorchester Market drop in profits worse than last year'

Income from the main weekly market and the small daily market in Cornhill and other occasional markets are shared 65-35 by Dorset Council and Dorchester Town Council.

Profits for the last financial year were down on projected out turns by almost £27,000 – with the former West Dorset District Council due £80,116 compared to a budget projection of £97,646 and Dorchester Town Council £43,139 compared to a budget of £52,578.

A joint markets committee, meeting in Dorchester on Wednesday evening, heard that for the first time the councils had to dip into a reserve fund to pay for repairs and improvements including a new CCTV system and a roof replacement or roof repairs at the North Linneys and the former cattle market building.

Car boot sale profits also dropped, although after running expenses all proceeds go to charity
Car boot sale profits also dropped, although after running expenses all proceeds go to charity

The committee heard that Sunday car boot income had also shown a slight drop in income although all the profits from this are distributed to local charities and community organisations, after running expenses.

'Cornhill stall market continues to grow'

The success story of the year was the Cornhill stall market which was previously run as a co-operative but is now operated as a private business paying the council a set annual fee of around £25,000.

Councillors heard that it had continued to grow and had attracted new traders :

“It’s been a great success. We continue to get compliments which is amazing,” said Cllr Molly Rennie, “You get different traders on different days which is part of the joy of it.”

The meeting heard that talks are continuing between the town council and Dorset Council about the possibility of the town council taking over the administration of the markets.

By Local Democracy Reporter, Trevor Bevins, and Wessex FM News 

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