A year and a half ago, Sarah Cooke was just starting out as a second hand furniture market trader in the town.

But, as Gravesend Borough Market closed for a £1.8 million refurbishment last week, she swapped her stall for a showroom and moved to a permanent shop in The Hive, Northfleet.

The store, Home and Vision, sells quality used and end-of-line furniture and electrical goods.

It was officially opened on Monday by Gravesham Borough Council’s new cabinet member for business development, Councillor Samir Jassal.

The council owns The Hive, as it is keen to help small businesses, and helped Sarah with the move.

She said:
“This opens a new door for our business.”“We have been very encouraged by our growing number of customers, and the new showroom enables us to have a permanent base to continue to grow.”
“Thanks go in no small part to the council for their help to achieve this.”
Mr Jassal added:
“Sarah has developed her business steadily and rapidly outgrown the market stall.”
“We wish her every success.”

Gravesham Market 2The market closed on Saturday 6th June for a major refurbishment.Twelve of the other stallholders have moved to vacant units in the town, including ten who have gone to a previously long term vacant unit in the St George’s Shopping Centre, which Gravesham Borough Council have fitted out with new APEX market Stalls – the moves were all carried out by the Town Centre Management team, thus not incurring any additional removal or transport costs for the traders.The NEW Gravesend Market shop will be open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm at Unit 16/17 St George’s Square – Gravesend. The tender for the building works closed last week, so starting this summer Gravesend Market Hall will undergo major refurbishment using funds secured from the Coastal Communities Fund, which is managed by the Big Lottery on behalf of the UK Government.

The heritage listed Queen Victoria statue, centrally located in the Market Hall, will also undergo repair and cleaning during the period of the works with the help of £20,000 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Councillor Samir Jassal, Cabinet Member for Business Development, said
“Gravesend’s Historic Market Hall is on the threshold of a major transformation which will see its re-emergence as a popular retail space and destination for visitors to the town.  I am pleased that the council’s efforts to ensure the continued trading of existing stallholders have been worthwhile.”