THE views of town centre traders are being sought as plans for an artisan market in Middlewich move forward.

Denise Valente and Vicky Jackson, who are behind the Wilmslow Christmas festival, recently gave a presentation to Middlewich Town Council.

The pair want to close Wheelock Street on the last Saturday of each month to create a bustling market environment.

Middlewich’s councillors have described the plans as ‘inspiring’ and said it would give an indication of people’s views on the pedestrianisation of the high street.

But letters are now being sent out to see what shopkeepers and residents in Wheelock Street, Darlington Street and Lawrence Avenue West have to say.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of implications,” said Denise.

“We need to have traders on side as they will lose out on on-street parking all day. There’s lots of things that need to be covered but they are all achievable.”

Denise and Vicky launched the Wilmslow artisan market in July.

The number of monthly stalls have doubled since then and an initial survey revealed that 79 per cent of Wilmslow’s shopkeepers saw an increase in footfall too.

Denise added: “When you see retailers losing 30 to 40 per cent year-on-year, that’s something to be very proud of.

“We hope if we bring the artisan market to Middlewich it would do the same for your town.”

Clr Simon McGrory said: “I think it’s important we recognise that we’ve worked hard to bring more people into the town and your vision is inspiring.”

But Clr Allan Croll questioned whether it would be the right fit for Middlewich as Wilmslow is considered to be more affluent.

The road closure plans could also see Darlington Street’s one-way system temporarily reversed but permission would have to be granted by Cheshire East Council.

If the market goes ahead, shopkeepers will be invited to have a stall and market traders will be specially chosen so they do not directly compete with the high street.