A monthly indoor market may be coming to Bellingham.

Proposals for the market were discussed at the village’s Parish Council meeting last Wednesday (February 17).

Parish Councillor Martin Dickson-Green said the aim of the market would be to get more footfall in Bellingham and get people used to shopping in the village.

The market’s main focus will likely be food, such as locally-sourced meat, cheese and baked goods, along with other items from local retailers.

The plan would be for the market to begin around June, dependent on coronavirus restrictions, the Parish Council’s clerk Ben Dickson-Green said.

Bellingham Parish Council would pay to rent the Town Hall once a month, but Coun. Martin Dickson-Green said the market would be self-funding.

The Town Hall has capacity for at least 12 tables, possibly extended to 15.

Coun. Martin Dickson-Green said the market would be intended to complement, not compete with, shops in the village.

A post on the Birtley Nail Facebook page received lots of support for the idea.

Coun. Brian Tilley raised the issue of parking for visitors, however Coun. Martin Dickson-Green said as the indoor market would be held all day, the load would be spread.

The Parish Council’s Chairman David Allen proposed to agree to the plans in principle, with the idea that Coun. Martin Dickson-Green should continue to progress research, such as finding out whether local retailers are interested in paying for a table and the typical dates sellers would be able to attend the market.

Clerk Ben Dickson-Green said five retailers have already shown interest.