PLANS for a new market in Gillingham are underway, with hopes to “bring some life” to the centre of the town.

To be located on the High Street between Station Road and Barnaby Mead, The White Hart Market is hoping to launch in October, offering a range of both artisan and farmers’ produce.

Gillingham Town Councillor and town team member Mike Gould said the monthly event will be led by The Anonymous Travelling Market, and will “put Gillingham on the map”.

Cllr Gould added that with plans for around 1,400 new houses in the town, bringing between 3,000 and 4,000 people, the market was needed to “make a difference”.

He said: “[Gillingham] will either become a dormitory town or we get some infrastructure. This is a positive thing for the town so I really hope it works.

“There is a consensus that people want this.We have a very experienced marketer who wants to get on with it.”

Cllr Gould said that commuters pass through Gillingham because of the town’s train station, and an activity like the market would entice them to stay and "bring some life" to the area.

He said: “[Gillingham] has got its own station so it is a very important little town. Where we are, we are sat on three counties so around us are lots of visitor attractions, so lots of potential for people to stay here.”

He said that according to a survey conducted by Bournemouth University students, Gillingham could improve its tourism sector through a website, strengthening communication between diverse businesses, setting up a ‘fun run’ event and launching a regular market.

The event will be named after a ‘white hart’ to pay homage to the history and legends of Gillingham and the Blackmore Vale.

Cllr Gould said the emblem is of “great significance to the town”, adding: “What I’m hoping is that people will think ‘this market is great’ and [this will] encourage other people to come visit.”