Blue Collar Confirmed as New Operator for Hosier Street Market

Blue Collar has been confirmed as the new operator of Hosier Street Market, following an extensive tender process by the Council.

The local Reading-based company is already well established in the town. Alongside its popular Wednesday and Friday markets in Market Place and Summer events in Forbury Gardens, Blue Collar has successfully brought The British Street Food Awards to Reading (hosting both the Southern Heats and UK Final), previously managed and operated the outside catering at Reading Football Club on match days and run monthly street food at local business parks.

Blue Collar will begin its operation of the long standing Market at Hosier Street tomorrow (Saturday March 27th), with all relevant parties informed.

Blue Collar has plans to improve the market as another destination market for Reading Town Centre. Their plans include two elements: firstly, they will work to improve the market area with a variety of retail and fresh produce offerings, recognising the importance of the market to customers. Secondly, they will look to extend the area of the market with an exciting new offer built from shipping containers using the adjacent and now vacant site compound area.  The use of this area will be subject to the operator gaining planning permission and subject to gaining a licence.

Ellie Emberson, Lead Councillor for Corporate and Consumer Services at Reading Borough Council, said:

“Blue Collar is a well-established local firm with a strong track record of delivering successful market operations, both in Reading and across the wider region. As part of the Council’s drive to help Reading’s economic recovery from the pandemic, we are excited to welcome them as the new operators of Hosier Street Market for an initial period of three years, and as longer term plans to regenerate the wider Minster Quarter continue to evolve.
“Over the coming weeks Blue Collar will further develop its proposed offer to customers at Hosier Street, which include a wide variety of retail offerings alongside the food and drink stalls they are well known for. We look forward to seeing those proposals come forward, subject to Blue Collar gaining the necessary permissions.”

Glen Dinning, Owner of Blue Collar, said:

“This deal provides us with the prospect of opening our first permanent site, which we hope will breathe new life into this area of our hometown.

“Our shipping container site will be over 2 floors, featuring 4 kitchens and a bar – great for outside food and drinks throughout the Summer and fully enclosed in the Winter. Assuming all ok with planning and licensing, we anticipate opening late Summer and will look to improve the market area to coincide with the container site opening, with the market traders selling fresh produce and benefiting from the additional footfall we hope the site will bring. We’d like to thank the Council for giving us this opportunity. ”

In August 2018, Town and Country Markets (TCM) – which managed and operated the Hosier Street Market for a number of years – announced it had gone into administration and ceased trading. An interim arrangement saw existing traders come to an agreement with the Council to manage and operate the market themselves in order to keep the market open for business and pending a Council  tendering  process for a new operator. That process is now complete with Blue Collar announced as new market operators from tomorrow.

Oscar Mortali

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