Radical plans to cover over Callington’s pannier market to make it an all-weather area has got an initial warm welcome from the town’s traders.

Callington Town Council is in the process of putting together a funding bid to Cornwall Council which would see a transparent canopy over the pannier market.

The permanent canopy would provide a cover in the T-section area of the pannier market from the back of the town hall building to Calli Pizza Cafe.

Callington Town Council are in favour of the idea and hope it would allow an all-weather shopping experience for the market, whilst providing a covered area for other events.

Local traders in the pannier market are welcoming the idea with the hopes that it would draw more footfall to their shops and help to rejuvenate the town.

Callington’s pannier market and the buildings situated in the market are owned by Callington Town Council.

Councillor Mike Moore who is fronting the project, explained that the idea for the polycarbonate canopy that would provide permanent cover over the pannier market came from a Vitality Fund survey conducted in 2022.

Cllr Moore said: ‘As part of a survey we conducted last year, people expressed a wish to have a community hub and having the town hall as a central hub. 

‘The canopy extends the capability of the town hall as a central hub.

‘It would make the area usable all year round. 

‘It means that it would weather-proof the pannier market in which we have a regular monthly market. 

‘It would make it more accessible and it could be opened up. If there were events in the town hall, in sunnier weather it would allow people to come out and sit out in the pannier market and eat and drink.

‘It would also make it available for all types of events, concerts and a whole variety of potential uses. We want to make the space more usuable than it is now.’

Town Clerk for Callington Town Council, Jo Taylor echoed Cllr Moore’s views and said: ‘It’s going to open up the possibilites of the pannier market. I think it’s a great idea that will open up the space for a vast array of community events. 

‘We could hold events all year round. 

‘We need to get Callington thriving and bustling again.’

The council are applying for funding for the canopy from Cornwall Council’s Good Growth Fund which is part of the council’s levelling up.

The cost of the canopy will be in the region of around £70,000. 

Local traders are also in support of the idea, one of these being Oxfam manager, Keighley Mallett who welcomes the canopy as a tool to increase footfall to shops. 

Keighley said: ‘It would be great. Callington needs things to promote it. 

‘We’re going to lose all our shops if something isn’t done. 

‘I’ve come back to live in Callington after 40 years and there has been a massive reduction in shops. We’re the only charity shop left and we are stuck out the way. 

‘Anything that might help the shop is welcome. 

‘I would even open the shop on a Sunday if they do a market. I’d be delighted if it could draw people to the shop, and I think it would help.’

Hayley Brown, owner of The Barber Shop in the pannier market also expressed support and said: ‘It is a good idea because with our weather, we can’t guarantee anything. It would hopefully attract more people to this area when they might not have seen the shop here before. 

‘But as long as access is maintained.’

Both traders spoke of the importance of maintaining vehicle access to the Pannier Market as a key priority. Cllr Moore expressed that vehicle access would be maintained. Cllr Moore said: ‘There will be continuous access and access would be accomodated.’

The proposal is still in its early stages, explained the town clerk, Jo Taylor. The council is currently in the process of retrieving quotes for the canopy roof and it is hoped that the funding bid might be submitted next month.