Limerick City Council hopes to introduce 50 new market stalls

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

LIMERICK City Council is hoping to introduce 50 new casual trading points in Ellen Street.

LIMERICK City Council is hoping to introduce 50 new casual trading points in Ellen Street.

At the same time, the council wants to cut the number of casual traders outside Thomond Park down to just four.

Councillors at this week’s economic committee were shown plans to create a “zone” for artisan food and craft trading in the area, close to the Milk Market.

City Council has 200 business people on a waiting list to give pitches to. It is hoped these plans will reduce the number down to 150.

As well as developing in the Ellen Street area, it is hoped to open similar facilities in Bedford Row, Michael Street, Cruises Street, Nicholas Street and along Clancy Stand, councillors were told.

The last time Limerick City Council gave out licences near the Milk Market area, those in charge of the facility were left angry, and accused Limerick City Council of “piggybacking” on its success.

Chairman of the economic committee, Fine Gael councillor Diarmuid Scully welcomed the move - which will have to be ratified by councillors next year.

But he said the stalls must bring something new to the city - rather than compete with existing shops.

“If we extend it across the city, we must be careful we do not draw away from a market centre which does work. We have a markets’ quarter, and I think we need to invest in that first. We also have to be conscious that we have rate payers who pay rents 365 days a year, that they are not undermined by casual trading,” he said.

Mayor Jim Long said owners of permanent city shops could be encouraged to open up temporary stalls in the Market quarter.