The proportion of visitors to York who go to Shambles Market has more than trebled in the last three years, according to a tourism chief.
Sarah Loftus, managing director of Make It York (MIY), which manages the market, said efforts “to encourage people to see the jewels that we have in the city” were paying off.
The visitor survey from the first quarter of 2022 showed that 60 per cent of people visited Shambles Market, compared to just 19 per cent over the same period in 2019.
Ms Loftus also said the relationship between the 110 traders and MIY had improved since she took up her post at the end of last year.
Relations had soured in the preceding years under the previous MIY management, with traders frequently hitting out over issues such as vehicle access and temporary markets taking away business.
Ms Loftus said: “We are going to do an independent health check of the market so that we can really flush out everything so that we can develop a proper investment plan in partnership with all the traders.
“The market will be sustained if residents use the market, so we need to make sure the offer that’s there is good for everybody – visitors and residents.”
Experience market manager Lucy Lines was appointed to oversee the market in September last year.
A “huge piece of work” is to be carried out into the market, Ms Loftus told a meeting of the council’s economy and place scrutiny committee, including on how to boost visitor numbers on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“We believe it’s special and we’re working very hard with all the traders to look at how we can make improvements,” she added.
Traders want to see better CCTV coverage of the market and wifi, as well as cleaning improvements.
Ms Loftus added: “We do believe we’re having a dialogue and it’s getting much better. There’s years of poor relationships with the market traders and it’s not going to change overnight.
“We are committed to working on that process. We might not agree on everything, but we intend to keep working and keep meeting with the traders on a regular monthly basis.”
Guildhall ward councillor Fiona Fitzpatrick and Ms Loftus have agreed to have monthly meetings on progress at the market.
“It is no secret that under the previous MIY leadership and market management, relationships with market traders all but collapsed,” Coun Fitzpatrick said.
“I do believe that Sarah wants a happy, thriving and sustainable market, as the traders want.”
MIY will develop a markets strategy at the start of next year to map out a future for the markets in the city.
Negotiations between MIY and the traders over rents are ongoing.