HISTORIC weekly markets are returning to Leamington in a bid to boost business.
Traders in the town have joined forces with Warwick District Council to launch Covent Garden Markets.
Shop owners on Warwick Street had the idea after hearing about the closure of Covent Garden car park, which looks set to shut to make way for the council’s new headquarters.
Debra Whitaker, who owns Hush, and Eleni Bradshaw, owner the Thrills of the Emporium, were concerned shoppers would stop visiting the street when the car park shuts for good.
Instead they decided to bring back markets which were previously held in the Covent Garden are of town, and which in the 19th century were as popular as those in its bustling London namesake.
Debra said: “We contacted the council to see if we could do anything positive to this end of the street to overcome the impact that the closure of the car park would have on us. We were concerned this end of the street would die.
“This is about people rediscovering their town centre and supporting local independent businesses. The markets will feature local businesses and give them an opportunity to showcase their stuff.”
The first event will be an eco market, on Sunday (July 28) between 10am and 4pm, with a focus on sustainable, recyclable and plastic free goods.
Warwick Street will be closed on market days from 8am to 6pm between the Russell Street and Tavistock Street junctions.
Council business spokesman Coun Alan Rhead said: “There is no denying these are challenging times for our retailers, particularly in parts of town such as the Covent Garden quarter which are slightly away from the main shopping area of the Parade.
“I hope people visiting the town for Art in the Park and other events will come along to support their local businesses and see the individual delights the shops in this quarter have to offer.”
A arts and crafts market will be held on Sunday August 4.
Visit www.coventgardenquarter.co.uk for more information.