EVESHAM’s annual Mop Fair could be brought into the heart of the town centre under plans being considered by the town council, the Observer can reveal.
Initial talks have already been held between Evesham Town Council, emergency services and the organiser of the Mop, Edward Danter who have all backed the idea.
Under the plans which would take effect in 2017, the High Street, stretching from Merstow Green all the way to Oat Street, would be closed to make way for the annual fair which is attended by thousands of Evesham residents every year.
Traffic during the three and half day closure would then be re-routed in the same way it was when the Abbey Bridge was being replaced, with vehicles able to drive down Oat Street to cross the Workman Bridge.
The Mop has been in search of a new home since it was confirmed ride operators would be unable to use the Old Brewery Car Park due to the Fire Station being knocked down to make way for the Waitrose store.
However, highways chiefs are yet to see the proposals and so a final decision cannot be made until they have given their verdict.
Should they win the support of highways, it’s expected a vote will be held by Evesham Town Council on the proposals later this year.
Speaking to the Observer, Deputy Mayor Coun Alan Booth said: “What we’ve been told so far is that there shouldn’t be a problem, the emergency services are in favour of what we’re doing.
“It’s now a matter of speaking to the traders about it. The few we’ve spoken to so far are in favour.
“I think the footfall will go up in the town centre. The shops will be there amongst it rather than being on the edges.
“I think it will be a good idea all round,” he added.
Head Organiser of the Mop Edward Danter said: “This will be an improvement to the MOP Fair.
“Like a lot of fairs, Tewkesbury, Banbury and Cirencester, all of them are on the streets and it brings the towns alive.
“It will be a big move forward.
“When they’re right in the town centre it makes it more attractive, creates more of an atmosphere and it really gives it more of a buzz.
“I attended a meeting with the Town Council, Police and Fire Brigade and everyone was for it.
“I’m really hoping it gets the go ahead, making the Evesham MOP Fair more attractive,” he added.