Oxford Covered Market to close today – except as base for some deliveries

Published: Tuesday, 24th March 2020

Oxford City Council will close Oxford Covered Market to the public from 5pm today – but some traders will still be able to use the market as a base for deliveries.

Last night the Government announced that all shops and markets should close with immediate effect, except for shops and market stalls offering essential retail such as food and grocery.

This means the Covered Market could remain open under current Government guidance.

However, due to the unique shared occupancy of the building, the City Council has taken the decision to close the market to protect the health of traders and members of the public.

The closure will be kept under review in line with current and future public health and Government guidance.

Home deliveries

The City Council will enable all traders that comply with the latest Government guidance to use the Covered Market to run deliveries from.

This means food shops can run deliveries from the market. Cafes and restaurants must close to the public, but they can also offer a delivery service from the market.

However, it will no longer be possible for members of the public to collect items from the Covered Market.

The following traders are currently operating a delivery service from the Covered Market:

  • Bonners Fruit and Veg
  • M. Feller & Daughter Butchers
  • David John Butchers
  • Oxford Cheese Company
  • Nash’s Bakery
  • Pershore Seafoods
  • Teardrop Bar

The City Council is in the process of setting up a single online order form for the Covered Market’s fresh food traders.

Online orders

Other Covered Market traders are now operating online-only businesses.

For a full list of traders that are now operating online and offering home deliveries, please visit: www.oxford.gov.uk/coveredmarket.

Support package

As it was the City Council’s decision to close the Covered Market on public health grounds, rather than the Government’s, the City Council is in discussions with traders about a support package.

These discussions are ongoing and are commercially sensitive.

The City Council has also written to all businesses in Oxford, including Covered Market traders, with information and guidance about the new Government support for businesses.

Access to the market

The City Council’s wholly owned company, ODS, will continue essential maintenance in the Covered Market, including water safety tests, and maintenance of the fire alarm and sprinkler system.

A porter will also be on duty at the Covered Market throughout the coronavirus outbreak to secure the building and manage access.

All traders will be able to access the market periodically to check on their unit and stock.

“We are closing the Covered Market to the public with a very heavy heart, but we are doing this to protect the health and safety of the public and of traders.

“Visiting the Covered Market on Saturday, I was bowled over by the energy, cooperation and compassion shown by our traders to serving the Oxford public and working together to ensure delivery of essential food. Along with our NHS staff, they are some of the great local heroes of the moment.

“I am confident that this spirit will help them to bounce back at the end of this period. At the City Council we are doing all that we can now, and in the coming months, to keep that future bright.”

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for Culture and City Centre