Plans for a four-day Continental Market on Burnham-On-Sea seafront at the height of the summer season have been given a ‘thumbs down’ by town councillors this week amid concerns it would hit the trade of local shops and businesses.
Rapid Events has submited revised plans for the market on the South Esplanade close to Burnham Jetty which would be held between 3rd-7th August, 2023.
The same operator proposed a 12-day international-themed market for the seafront over the past summer which was turned down by councillors in February.
Shops and cafes in Burnham-On-Sea town centre have expressed concern about the event taking away summer trade at the height of the tourist season.
During a meeting of the Town Council’s Town Improvements Committee on Monday night (November 14th), councillors heard concerns from traders about the potentially negative impact the market would have on them at a critical time of the year. The plans from the operator were reviewed.
“The Burnham-On-Sea Continental Market would be a four day food and craft based event taking place on The Esplanade,” says the operator. “The event is being brought to enhance the regular visitor experience… and to generate unique visitors.”
Cllr Peter Clayton told Monday’s meeting he opposes the event being held in August at a “vitally important time of the year for traders” and said it could potentially be tried at a quieter time of the year instead.
He added: “Whilst this might sound a nice idea, it needs looking into more closely. As we have heard from thre traders, this is right in the middle of the peak season for them. Taking trade away from the town centre at that time of the year is not acceptable. They would not just sell just sell continental food but items sold by some of the shops, so I am not in favour of this, particularly at peak season.”
Cllr Ganesh Gudka added: “We need to do more due diligence before we accept this proposal. Ideally, I would want to see the organisers putting forward a proposal by working closely with the traders of the town.”
Cllr Mike Murphy added: “As a council, we are committed to supporting the High Street through our actions… helping the town centre to stay vital. It is a guiding light for us and I am not in favour of this idea.”
Cllr Clayton proposed not to approve with the event, seconded by Cllr Gudka. Town councillors voted unanimously not to proceed.