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Market to be a mecca for arts and crafts

PUBLISHED: 16:38 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 25 August 2010

A CHANGE in management at a historic market has prompted a call for less stalls and a focus on traditional goods. Mick Gebbett, owner of Greenwich Market stall Hide All, has called on Greenwich Hospital to make the changes after bosses announced it will

A CHANGE in management at a historic market has prompted a call for less stalls and a focus on traditional goods.

Mick Gebbett, owner of Greenwich Market stall Hide All, has called on Greenwich Hospital to make the changes after bosses announced it will now run the market in-house, ending a 13-year deal with Urban Space.

The market has been in its current incarnation since 1985 but has operated since 1700.

Mr Gebbett, who has traded at the site since 1987, welcomed the move and said: "For a number of years I've felt a little unsure about the direction of the market.

"The desire to cram in as many stalls as possible has made it particularly difficult for mothers with buggies to get about. If the new arrangement, which we were told about only a few days ago, means less stalls then it's welcome - we don't want visitors to be in a scrum.

"I want to see a much nicer environment created, to get back to the arts and crafts focus that was the original intent 25 years ago rather than a street market.

"The emphasis should be on quality, not quantity, with people who have made things with that in mind.

"We need to speak at some length about the future plans to get some sort of structure in place instead of just organic growth."

The new management are looking to transform the space on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Martin Sands, director of Greenwich Hospital, said: "We are looking forward to working with all market stallholders to make Greenwich Market an even better place to visit."

He added: "Each stallholder has their own inspiring story, several entrepreneurs have started out on the market before progressing to shops, such as the teams at Lush Designs, Beauty and the Bib, Arty Globe, Emma Nissim and Dao.

"We're a very diverse community with a dozen nationalities represented and a wide range of ages - some stallholders are in their teens and one regular is in his seventies.

"We are excited about the opportunities that this change in management will bring, and anticipate the stalls and surrounding shops working even more closely together to create a vibrant and genuinely unique retail destination."

Opening hours and daily specialties are set to stay the same.

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