The running of Romford Market may be outsourced to the private sector or even a cash boost sought to regenerate the historic space "sorely" in need of investment, a senior councillor said.

Graham Williamson, cabinet member for housing, said yesterday (January 17) at a full council meeting that Havering Council could outsource the market's day-to-day management.

Cllr Williamson added that the council may look to find an investment partner willing to inject capital towards its regeneration.

He told the meeting Romford Market "sorely" needed investment and cabinet was considering turning to the private sector to make this possible.

"Conceivably the brief might extend to seeking an investment partner willing to inject capital into regenerating the market, which we sorely need anyway," he said.

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Cllr Williamson also said signs could be put up near Romford station on South Street to make people more aware of the market's existence.

At the full council meeting, Cllr Williamson was asked by Conservative councillor David Taylor, of St Edwards ward, to outline what work has been undertaken to find viable alternatives for the management of Romford Market to ensure its survival.

Romford Recorder: Cllr Graham Williamson discussed Romford Market's futureCllr Graham Williamson discussed Romford Market's future (Image: Graham Williamson)

Romford Market has already been subject to planned council cuts, including the ending of its Sunday trade, as the authority bids to bridge a multi-million pound budget shortfall.

When asked by Cllr Taylor on whether greater visibility would help, Cllr Williamson said: "Signage, yes, we need to do it.

"I’ve looked at the footfall figures and think South Street is 20 per cent more visited than the market because you don’t know it's there unless you obviously live in Romford."

The South Hornchurch councillor said Romford Market would be the first beneficiary of the Romford Masterplan, which he said would hopefully go out soon.

"We think the market should be first, [but] we will need CIL money."

CIL money, or a community infrastructure levy, is a charge which can be levied by local authorities on new development in their area.

Cllr Taylor said the potential influx of millions in CIL money could represent an opportunity for the council to invest in the market, including signs.

“It is important to stress that no decision has yet been made by cabinet pending consideration of the details I’ve just outlined,” Cllr Williamson added.