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Future of Portadown market up in the air as second tender fails to attract any bids

Council’s economic development and regeneration committee on Tuesday heard that the local authority’s latest attempt at the tender process has failed to attract any interest.

Magowan car park, Portadown

The future of Portadown’s market remains up in the air with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s second tender for the management of the market failing to attract any bids.

In early July, Council confirmed it’s tender process failed to attract any bids and at a meeting of Council’s economic development and regeneration committee on Tuesday, December 14, members were told the local authority’s latest attempt at the tender process has also failed to attract any interest.

A report on the matter notes a second tender was issued on Friday, October 8 and remained open for a period of three weeks until Friday, October 29.

With no submission received, officers will now liaise with Portadown councillors to work out the best way forward and a report will be brought back to the committee on the matter in due course.

It is understood Council was aiming to have an operator in place by the start of of Summer 2021.

Earlier this year, Council decided to bring its service level agreement with the market’s former operator, Portadown 2000, to an end on March 31.

This decision prompted Council to seek alternative arrangements for the future management of the town’s market. Prior to March 31, the market was operated and managed by Portadown 2000 within its premises on William Street.

In February of this year, Council launched an expression of interest process inviting interested parties to enter into dialogue around the future provision of the town’s market.

At the time, it was made clear Council had two market sites available for the running of the weekly market, the Fairgreen car park or Magowan West car park.

It was also explained other sites may be available in the future and prospective bidders were informed Council would consider permitting any prospective operator to use its private facilities, either indoor or out.

It is understood Council is keen to see the market operate two times a week with optional daytime or evening operational times.

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