New market set for old Galashiels post office

Stalls will be erected outside as well as inside the former main Post Office in Galashiels when a new retail market starts operating there next month.
The old Post Office building in Channel Street, Galashiels.The old Post Office building in Channel Street, Galashiels.
The old Post Office building in Channel Street, Galashiels.

Based on demand from traders to participate, there will be 10 table-top pitches within the listed building at 1 Channel Street.

Another 10 steel-framed stalls, measuring 6ft by 4ft, will be erected in the pedestrianised civic area outside.

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The layout is revealed in an application for a three-year Market Operator Licence which will be considered tomorrow (Friday) by Scottish Borders Council’s Civic Government Committee.

The bid, along with a £239 fee, comes from Galashiels Market CIC (community interest company) which was formed in the summer in an attempt to increase footfall in an area of the town centre which has suffered at the hands of major peripheral supermarkets.

The firm also hopes to cater for a significant increase in visitors to Galashiels since the opening of the Borders Railway six weeks ago.

The company has been negotiating a lease with the Royal Mail for the use of the listed late Victorian building which has been empty since 2007 when Post Office facilities were relocated to the nearby branch of W. H. Smith.

In tomorrow’s application, which has elicited no objections, the firm states that the market will run every Friday and Saturday from 8am till 4pm, with a variety of traders selling “fruit and veg, fish, meat, breads, clothing, cakes, jewellery etc”.

There will be no hot food and catering facilities, and the external stalls will not be placed on the road section of the civic area to ensure access for emergency services.

Toilet facilities will be available for traders inside the building which will also be covered by CCTV.

“A director of Galashiels CIC will always be on site, carrying out safety checks on each stall to enforce and ensure safety for traders and the public,” states the planning application.

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The company’s founder and managing director, Abby Keay, revealed recently that the market will operate for a pilot period of four weeks, starting on Friday, November 6, ahead of its official launch in December.

The firm’s other directors are Mrs Keay’s husband, Alistair, local newsagent Susan Thomson and Galashiels Community Council secretary Tracey Alder.

This article is from the Southern Reporter