Extra measures are being put in place at Keswick Market to help keep residents, visitors and traders safe.
Allerdale Borough Council is responsible for the operation of the market, which runs in Main Street every Thursday and Saturday. Keswick Market, along with all others in Allerdale, was suspended in March and reintroduced on June 18 with various safety measures which meet Government and NABMA guidelines in place.
However, the Council will be introducing extra measures from this Thursday following concerns raised about social distancing in Keswick town centre and how the market may be contributing to the issue. The Council urges everyone going into the town centre and the market to please respect social distancing and the measures that are in place to help keep residents, visitors, traders and staff safe.
Meetings between Allerdale officers and elected members of the borough council, county council and Keswick Town Council have taken place this week to discuss the measures.
The new measures will be in addition to those already in place and the one-way system for pedestrians introduced in Main Street at the end of last week.
The new measures that will be introduced include:
- A reduction in the number of stalls and some repositioned
- Alterations to the market layout to help with compliance of the one-way system
- Create clear entrances to the one-way system and improve signage with the addition of ‘no entry’ signs at specific points.
Extra marshalls brought in to help facilitate the one-way system.
Market traders and marshalls will also be asked to wear face coverings where possible and will be advising visitors to do the same.
An option to spread stalls out into another area of the town centre is also being considered with a consultation of residents and businesses due to take place shortly.
Cllr Mike Johnson, Allerdale’s deputy leader, said: “The Council has worked hard alongside our partners to make the Keswick Market site as safe as possible for everyone and we will continue to monitor the situation going forward. I ask everyone who attends to respect the measures we’ve put in place so the experience of going into Keswick town centre can be enjoyable for all.”
Cllr Paul Titley, Mayor of Keswick, said: “The town council’s number one objective is to keep Keswick safe. We expect these changes to the market will restore a safe environment to the square. Councillors will be assisting marshalls on market day. If residents are not satisfied we will think again.”
Cllr Tony Lywood, Cumbria County Council member for Keswick, said: “Keswick Market is hugely important to the lifeblood of the town, indeed its popularity and lack of space is exactly the issue.
“I support any measures that make the market safer with proper social distancing and we are now all working together to make this a reality. The balance between safety and large numbers is a very tricky one, but if we don’t get it right the consequences are dire for all of us. We want to welcome everyone but it must be in an environment that is as safe.”