Armagh City looks set to host a vintage antiques and collectibles fair this October following backing for the event by the council’s economic development and regeneration committee.
At a meeting of the committee on Tuesday, June 14, members were told Council had received a request from a Shambles Market trader to use the Johnston building and yard in Armagh to host the fair.
The plan is to use to building on a weekend when it would not normally be in use and is is thought this event will be an asset to both the Shambles Market and the city itself as a means to encourage footfall.
In order to make this event a reality, the trader will have to complete and adhere to a hire agreement which obligates them to complete an event plan, risk assessment and secure the necessary public liability insurance for the event.
All of these requirements will then be assessed by the council’s health and safety team in advance of the event.
The trader will also be responsible for all elements of managing the event including marketing, trader recruitment and management and trader fees secured for this event will be donated to the Lord Mayor’s charities.
Council will be required to have an officer present for the entirety of the one day event to open and close the building and set up the event’s tables and chair and electricity supply and a markets and open spaces officer will coordinate the event in partnership with the market trader.
Proposing officer’s recommendation that the committee supports the request by the market trader, Councillor Sam Nicholson said he was of the opinion it would be a “fantastic use” of the facility.
“It is a great area for this idea and it is something that will create footfall in the city and give great benefit to the local traders so I am very happy to support this,” said Cllr Nicholson.
His UUP party colleague and group leader, Alderman Jim Speers seconded the proposal.
“I am certainly delighted to second this proposal. It presents a great opportunity. It is an ideal location and Armagh is an ideal place for such a development,” said Alderman Speers.
“I remember a time when there was a number of antique shops within the city and that has changed to some extent and I do believe this is something that can be built on.
“The people that organiser these antique fairs are a fairly active group of people and there is probably nowhere more suited to it than Armagh and the historic nature of this particular building.
“I certainly have the utmost pleasure in seconding the proposal and making sure that as a Council we begin to target some other potential opportunities in that wider sense of moving markets for that particular site.”
DUP councillor Lavelle McIlwrath said it was “great to see type of event coming into Armagh” while SDLP councillor, Declan McAlinden said it was an “excellent initiative” that Council should look to replicate in other towns across the borough.