Magherafelt traders to be surveyed on Christmas market

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Mid Ulster District Council is being asked to review the location of the Christmas market in Magherafelt town centre.

It is understood that shop and business owners are to be surveyed in the coming weeks and a report brought before the council for consideration in the New Year.

This year’s market had to be cancelled owing to severe weather conditions and the council issued an apology to members of the public.

Traders appear divided over where the best location for the annual market should be since its relocation from the market yard at Rainey Street to Market Square last year.

There have also been claims by business owners that their takings have been hit following the relocation.

Various locations have been suggested including one of the main car parks - either Rainey Street or Union Road.

The Meadowbank Sports Arena on the Ballyronan Road, Magherafelt, has also been mentioned as a potential “undercover location” for the event which would ensure it goes ahead despite the weather conditions.

DUP Councillor Paul McLean, who asked for the survey of businesses to be carried out, said he has been approached by “a large number of traders” expressing the opinion that the present market location was not the best.

“It is important to find the right location for the market as many feel the town centre is not the right place,” he said.

“When the results of the survey are known a meeting can be arranged, perhaps early next year, with the Chamber of Commerce to review the situation and the way forward.”