A WEEKLY town market will more than double in size amid plans to “bring it back to life”.

Braintree Council says it will rejuvenate the Saturday market in Witham by introducing a host of independent traders to the existing set-up.

Bosses are aiming to build on the success of the street markets held in the town last year, which saw new traders work alongside existing stallholders.

If the revamp prove a success, the council says the traditional market in Witham could supersede its street markets scheme.

As many as 20 new stalls are lined up to start trading on Saturday, March 2, taking the overall number of traders to more than 30.

There is expected to be a wider variety of food and drink on offer to shoppers, as well as unique gift ideas and homeware items.

Braintree Council economic development boss Tom Cunningham is confident the new additions will bring larger numbers of shoppers to the area.

He said: “We want to ensure the market thrives, and bringing in a mix of new traders will bring a much-needed revamp to the market, making it a place people want to visit, shop and socialise.

“We are ambitious for Witham as a town, and from the success of the street markets in Braintree, we know we can achieve something similar here, so we’re encouraging residents and visitors to come and support the market so we can bring it back to life.”

Tina Townsend, chair of Witham Chamber of Commerce, added: “We are delighted that a new and improved market is coming to Witham.

“This will hopefully bring more people to the town which will, we hope, increase footfall and give a much-needed boost to other businesses in the town centre.”

The boost to Witham’s market comes in the same week Braintree Council announced plans to host further street markets throughout the coming year.

More than 40 traders are lined up for the first event, which will be held in Braintree on Saturday, March 30.

Braintree Town Partnership chairman Rob Ely said: “This is fantastic news coming out from the council which will significantly help existing businesses and support start-ups, demonstrating even more that it’s a great time to invest in the town.”

The markets will run on the last Saturday of the month, with extra markets lined up over the festive period.

Traders who are interested in joining should contact the council on 01376 552525.