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Shopping centre management team take on new role at Market Hall.

Posted: 18 Jan 2024

Shrewsbury’s shopping centre management team is expanding its role within the town to include the market hall building, as longstanding market manager Kate Gittins moves to a new position within Shropshire Council.

The council has asked the team, which manages the Darwin Shopping Centre, to broaden its operations and represent its interests at the market hall.

Shropshire Council is landlord for the market hall building, which includes the town’s national award-winning indoor market, retail shops at ground level and the adjoining Mardol House student accommodation.

Shropshire Council manages the permanent stalls within the popular two-tiered market on a day-to-day basis and is responsible for the overall management of the building, including Mardol House and the ground-floor retail units in Shoplatch, Bellstone and Claremont Street. Shrewsbury Town Council manages the canopied stall section of the indoor market.

The shopping centre team, led by Kevin Lockwood, will also assume management responsibility, on behalf of Shropshire Council, for the student accommodation and commercial units at The Tannery buildings, in nearby St Austin’s Street.

Shopping Centre Manger Kevin Lockwood said the market hall was an important asset to Shrewsbury and a key stakeholder in the future of the town centre.

“We plan to build on the market hall’s success and enhance its future by bringing it into a wider retail family within the town,” he said.

“Independent businesses are increasingly important to the future of the high street, and we have a unique mix of independent businesses and nationals in Shrewsbury, so we’re better placed than many other towns.

“The market is an important incubator for business start-ups and enterprise with businesses expanding from the market onto the high street. Because of its success the market deserves to be recognised as a key stakeholder within the town.

“Shrewsbury will undergo major changes in the future with the Big Town Plan, Movement Strategy and the redevelopment of the Riverside/Smithfield area. Bringing the market hall into the wider fold ensures it will be very much part of future plans for the town centre.”

The management team also includes Tenant Liaison Manager Amy Williams, who will assume day-to-day responsibility for the market hall, and Operations Manager Russell Hall.

The team is taking over the reins from Facilities Manager Kate Gittins who is being redeployed to a new part-time role within Shropshire Council.

Kate said she was excited for the long-term future of the market which last year won the title of ‘Britain’s Favourite Market’ for the second time in five years.

“I have known Kevin for years and know what a great job he and his team do. It’s the right team to take our brilliant market forward,” she said.

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