Published: 23:33, 14 April 2021
| Updated: 06:23, 15 April 2021
Plans have been put in place to enhance Folkestone's town centre market.
Stalls and their traders are due back in Sandgate Road tomorrow (Thursday) after a 'long lockdown'.
Essential stalls have remained open throughout the last few months, but with this week's easing of restrictions, more traders will return to the high street.
And new schemes have been put in place in a bid to improve the market and encourage more vendors to set up in the town.
This includes Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) reducing rent from £3.50 a foot to £1, and better parking provisions being made available.
Market manager Paul Clark said: "Folkestone market is back open on April 15 every Thursday and Saturday after a long lockdown.
"Folkestone council have reduced the market rent from £3.50 a foot to £1 a foot on both days and are trying to get a place for the market traders to park their vans after unloading their goods.
"This is instead of parking outside people's houses over a mile away.
"The council are trying to encourage more stall holders so it can be a thriving market again in Folkestone town centre.
"We hope to see all our customers back after a long lockdown."
FHDC says it is working to "improve the town centre’s overall offer for residents and visitors".
A spokeswoman for the authority said: “The council budget for 2021/22 include reduced pitch fees in order to support growth of the market.
"In addition the council is proactively identifying a number of measures aimed at enhancing the market and improving the town centre’s overall offer for residents and visitors.
"An example has been the introduction of a vegan Veganism market held successfully in Guildhall St. during late 2020 which continues into 2021 as lockdown measures are eased."
Folkestone market in Sandgate Road is open every Thursday and Saturday.
In terms of the future of the town centre, FHDC has arranged an online presentation to discuss its Place Plan and vision, which will include ideas for the former Debenhams store.
It comes as the council revealed the ex department shop, now re named Folca, could be turned into mixed use of housing and health and leisure facilities in order to generate increased footfall in the high street.
The webinar will be held on Monday. Visit here to register.