The deal means that private market operator Peter McNulty will hold markets in both towns from 31 March. The initial agreement is for a period of 12 months, but is likely to be extended if the markets are a success.
Market days will remain the same, and existing stall holders who wish to continue will be able to do so with a minimal adjustment of less than 20p to weekly stall prices.
Cllr Peter McBride, Lead Member for Investment and Housing said: “I’m pleased to say that we’ve found a solution which means that Batley and Birstall will continue to have a weekly market. As our residents are aware, the council has had to make tough decisions about where we continue to provide essential services. But as this shows, with a bit of creative thinking, where a council service has come to an end, this has in fact created a commercial opportunity for a local business, as well as securing the future for existing market traders who are keen to continue.”
“We’re delighted that Mr McNulty has stepped forward and seized the opportunity to put these markets onto a more commercial footing – as I’m sure are the local residents who enjoy shopping there, and the traders who make their living there. Finding new ways of delivering services will be a continuing challenge for us in the months and years to come; but this goes to show that the end of council funding certainly doesn’t mean the end of valued services and activities.”