Whitby market regulations

Find out about Whitby market’s regulations.

Before you complete a trading agreement to sell items at Whitby open market, please make sure you have read the following market regulations.

General terms and conditions

These terms and conditions are intended to create a safe and pleasant trading environment for all. Traders must adhere to them at all times. 

  • traders will be notified of any changes made to the terms and conditions by the council and when such changes are to be brought into force 
  • additional copies are available on request from the Market Superintendent 
  • a trader shall indemnify the council against all liabilities, actions, costs, claims and compensation for injury or loss to any person or damage to or loss of any property arising as a result of a trader’s occupancy of a pitch or of any act, omission or negligence done or omitted by the trader or any person under his direction


Prior to trading each trader must complete the trader application form and provide: 

  1. two forms of identification confirming name and address for example, utility bills or bank statements 
  2. proof of right to work in the UK 
  3. proof of public liability insurance (minimum £5 million cover) 
    1. an attendance record will be kept to ensure fair allocation 
    2. each trading day is treated as a separate market. Traders need to state on the application form each day that they wish to trade on

Contact us to apply. 

Permitted goods

  • no trader will be allowed to sell reproduction firearms or weapons including knives (other than domestic cutlery), any weapon that can propel an object, fireworks, flammable liquids or gasses, alcohol for immediate consumption, tobacco products, counterfeit goods, drugs, offensive publications/material, live animals and birds or any other item deemed by the Market Superintendent as likely to cause a danger to the public 
  • the council reserve the right to limit product lines which are judged by the Market Superintendent to be inappropriate or offensive for example, T-shirts with slogans which may be offensive 
  • proposed goods/merchandise for sale from the allocated pitch must not conflict with goods already for sale on existing pitches at Whitby open market 
  • a trader shall only sell the goods specified in their trader application form. Any traders wanting to diversify their product line must get written consent from the Market Superintendent 
  • where there is a dispute between traders concerning any merchandise sold or proposed to be sold from the allocated stall, the Market Superintendent has the power in their absolute discretion after affording to the trader an opportunity to make oral or written representations to give direction accordingly. For the purpose of this condition, the Market Superintendents decision shall be final 

Allocation of pitches

  • there are 13 trading pitches available. Four pitches are located underneath the old Town Hall building and nine pitches are located within the Market Place.
  • the market is available to both regular and casual traders with preference given to regular traders 
  • open markets are held on specifically dedicated market places which may be used for other purposes when the market is not being held 
  • allocations of pitches are on a daily basis only. In the event of a trader not attending in person, he/she must, on request, provide satisfactory documentary evidence of a bona fide employee of the trader 
  • the assignment or sub-letting of pitches is not permitted. Consent to the transfer of the pitch to an immediate member of the trader’s family will not be unreasonably withheld on a written request to the Market Superintendent  
  • preference for pitch allocation on a Sunday will be given to those traders who attend and trade on a Tuesday and/or a Saturday 
  • the Market Superintendent may, at any time, at their absolute discretion move the allocated pitch to another pitch on any market trading day 
  • traders must inform the Market Superintendent in writing within 14 days of any change in personal details for instance, change of name, address, vehicle etc. and provide updated forms of identification, as detailed in the application section 

Hours of operation

  • market trading will only be permitted between the hours of 08:30 and 18:00 on Tuesdays and Saturdays and between the hours of 09:00 and 17:00 on Sundays 
  • traders must keep their stalls properly stocked and attended and open for business throughout the trading hours of the market. They must not vacate the pitch before the close of trading (unless prior permission has been given by the Market Superintendent) 
  • access hours for unloading are between 07:30 and 08:30 on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and 09:00 and 10:00 on Sundays 
  • access hours for loading at the end of the trading day are between 17:00 and 18:00. Trader vehicles are not permitted on site outside of these hours 
  • traders must not park their vehicles on the market whilst unloading/loading in such a manner to cause obstruction and/or inconvenience to council employees or their representatives, members of the public or other businesses in close proximity to the market 
  • the Market Superintendent may from time to time in extenuating circumstances extend or reduce these hours at their discretion 
  • the council reserve the right to close the market for official public and bank holidays, special events and in extreme weather conditions. For clarification on what would force a closure due to extreme weather, please refer to the bad weather procedure section. Fees will not be payable in these circumstances and credit will be given 

Payment of fees

  • the pitch fees levied shall be such fees as may be set from time to time by the council and communicated to all traders and published on the council’s website 
  • pitch fees are non-refundable. However, credit will be given if market trading is cancelled for official public and bank holidays, special events and extreme weather conditions 
  • any trader who defaults in the payment of fees due will automatically forfeit the right to their pitch 

Stall requirements

  • the trader must display their name or trade name on their stall in legible writing not less than three inches high 
  • traders must not display any advertisements or signs except with the written consent of the Market Superintendent 
  • traders may not place goods, fixtures or fittings beyond the boundaries of the pitch allocated, either on the ground or hanging from the stall 
  • traders must not play music or display video images from their stall 
  • traders must take all reasonable precautions to prevent damage to the surface of the pitch 
  • the driving, nailing, screwing, stapling or other fixing of any device into Council property is strictly forbidden 
  • the use of generators is not permitted 

Health and safety

  • traders shall in all respects comply with the relevant Health and Safety legislation for the time being in force in connection with the management and operation of their stall and shall ensure (so far as is reasonably practicable) that any person on the market including members of the public are not exposed to any risks to their health and safety 
  • all stalls and fittings must be in good, safe condition and not cause danger to any other person(s). If in the opinion of the Market Superintendent any erected stall is unsafe, the trader will be required to rectify the problem immediately. If this cannot be undertaken to the satisfaction of the Market Superintendent, the trader may be asked to dismantle the whole stall or so much of the stall as to render it considered to be in a safe condition 
  • traders are required to assess their first aid requirements and have an adequate first aid kit available for traders own personal use. Further information on the first aid requirements for self-employment can be found on the HSE website  
  • traders must maintain a record of accidents. Accidents should be reported to the Market Superintendent in writing at the earliest convenience who will update the Risk Assessment and implement any actions for improvement where necessary 
  • all traders must maintain public liability insurance (minimum of £5 million) and, if appropriate, employer’s liability insurance (minimum of £10 million). Traders must provide evidence to the council that the policy is in force when requested to do so 


Traders must keep the stall(s) and the area immediately around it clear and free from litter. It is the trader’s own responsibility to collect and store in a suitable receptacle all refuse/waste generated during the course of the trading day and to take all refuse/waste away at the end of the trading day. Traders must not deposit any refuse/waste in any public litter bins in the Scarborough area.

Statutory compliance

  • all traders dealing with foodstuffs must comply with all relevant and current food hygiene regulations and conditions relating to the preparation and sale of foodstuffs. This includes the registration of their business with the council’s Environmental Health service prior to commencing trading 
  • traders must ensure compliance with the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and all other relevant legislation relating to the goods and products sold on their stalls 
  • dealers in the sale of second hand goods must register with the council’s Trading Standards section 
  • traders are required to comply with all relevant legislation including Local Acts or byelaws relating to the employment of young children 

Behaviour and conduct

  • traders must not do or permit to be done anything which in the opinion of the Market Superintendent may be a nuisance or annoyance to any member of the public, other traders or which may be detrimental to the efficient operation of the market 
  • traders (and their staff if applicable) are expected to behave in a professional and socially acceptable manner at all times having regard to the interests of all traders and the market as a whole. Verbal abuse, harassment, bullying or physical aggression will not be tolerated in any circumstances towards any customer, other trader, local businesses in the area, the Market Superintendent or their representatives 
  • traders must not do anything that could be seen to bring the market or council into disrepute 

Administration of the market terms and conditions

  • traders must comply at all times with the directions of the Market Superintendent and with all byelaws and regulations in respect of the market which are in force from time to time, and to comply with the provisions of all acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments which are applicable 
  • any decision made by the Market Superintendent is final 
  • if a trader has a grievance with the Market Superintendent they can contact the Regeneration Services Manager by calling 01723 232323 or in writing to:

Regeneration Office  
Town Hall 
St Nicholas Street 
YO11 2HG 

  • The Market Place remains the authority of the council and traders must not impede or interfere with the council’s rights of possession and control of the market to carry out works as necessary 
  • the council, its officers and servants, shall not be liable by contract or otherwise, for any loss of, or damage to property, however, caused and whether or not due to the condition of the structure of any stall, building equipment or due to the condition of any floor surfaces 
  • the giving of gratuities in any form by traders to any council employees or agents of the council is strictly forbidden 

Market Superintendent

The contact details for the Market Superintendent are: 

Scarborough Market Hall and Vaults 
St Helen’s Square 
YO11 1EU 
Email: Regeneration.sca@northyorks.gov.uk
Tel: 01723 373579   Mobile: 07738 114811

Allocation of pitches for regular traders

  • regular traders are allocated the right to occupy the same pitch on a given market day 
  • permanent pitches are offered on a one year licence 
  • if a regular trader fails to occupy their allocated pitch by 08:30 on Tuesday or Saturday, or by 09.00 on Sunday, the Market Superintendent may offer the use of the pitch for the day casually to another trader, in accordance with the provisions for allocating casual pitches. It is the trader’s responsibility to notify the Market Superintendent of any delay in attending the market (for instance, because of vehicle breakdown or other reasonable cause beyond the trader’s control) 
  • if a trader fails to occupy their pitch for two consecutive weeks without notifying the Market Superintendent, the pitch will be forfeited 

Payment of fees for regular traders

Pitch fees are payable for each trading day registered. The fees are payable monthly in advance on the first day of every month by Direct Debit, or at least 5 days in advance of the next registered trading day by debit/credit card payment. Payment by cash will not be accepted. 

Regular traders holidays and sickness

  • absence resulting from illness after the first week of absence will only be accepted with the production of a medical certificate. Failure to provide a certificate will result in the forfeiture of the pitch 
  • regular traders will be permitted up to two weeks absence each year for holidays without the requirement to pay the allocated pitch fee 
  • regular traders must give a minimum of 10 days’ notice in writing of any intended absence from the market due to a holiday 
  • if a regular trader is away from the market due to holiday or illness, the Market Superintendent reserves the right to offer his/her pitch to a casual trader in accordance with the provisions for allocating casual pitches 

Termination (regular traders only)

The council has the right to terminate a regular trader’s licence with immediate effect:

  • in the event of a serious breach by traders or their employees, or persistent minor infringements of the terms and conditions set out in these regulations  
  • if a trader commits an act of bankruptcy or, being a company, goes into liquidation, the council may terminate the licence with immediate effect 

Either the council or the regular trader may terminate this licence at any time by giving not less than one week’s notice in writing to the other party. 

Allocation of pitches for casual traders

  • casual pitch allocations are subject to the availability of vacant pitches at the market and with a view to striking a balance of goods already sold from the market 
  • pitches not allocated to a regular trader will be allocated on the day of the market to whichever casual trader has recorded the most attendances at the market in the last three months 
  • a trader who refuses to accept the offer of a casual pitch on any particular trading day will be recorded as not having attended the market on that day 
  • if a trader fails to attend for two weeks then they will be removed from the casual list and would need to reapply 
  • after six weeks of operating at the market a casual trader will, subject to availability, be offered a regular trader licence 
  • in the event that the market is fully occupied, the Market Superintendent will maintain a waiting list 
  • casual traders are not entitled to any holiday entitlement or sickness leave 

Payment of fees for casual traders

Pitch fees are payable in advance of the trading day by debit/credit card. Payments by cash will not be accepted.

Bad weather procedure

Whitby open market is subject to weather conditions. A market day will only be cancelled as a last resort if weather conditions put the safety of our traders, staff and shoppers at risk. 

The decision to cancel a market day is made after considering the: 

  • condition of local area roads 
  • condition of the market site 
  • extreme weather forecasted 
  • ability of staff and traders to travel to the market site 

Extreme weather includes wind over 25 mph. The BBC website will be used to monitor the weather conditions and wind speeds. 

The decision to cancel market trading will be taken by the Market Superintendent in consultation with traders where possible. The Market Superintendent’s decision will be final. Traders will not be allowed to trade if the market is cancelled. 

Pitch fees will not need to be paid if the Market Superintendent cancels market trading. 

Should the weather take an unpredicted turn towards bad weather during any market day, the Superintendent can at their discretion close the market early. All traders must then pack away and leave the site. 

How we will communicate that a market is cancelled

A decision to close the market will be made 48 hours before the scheduled market day if the relevant information is available at that time. A last minute cancellation is possible if unexpected extreme weather arrives or there is a last minute change to the weather forecast. 

We will use the following steps to communicate a cancelled market to traders and shoppers: 

  • email all traders with receipt confirmation requested 
  • traders who have not replied to a cancellation notification with 24 hours left to go, will receive a phone call and/or text message 
  • if the market is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, text messages will be sent out prior to phone calls 
  • a notice will be posted on the Whitby market Facebook page and it will be repeated as necessary in the 24 hours before the cancelled market day. This notice of cancellation will continue to run on the Facebook page during the course of the cancelled market day 

Strong winds

When the projected wind speed is 15 mph or higher, we will declare a strong wind advisory. This will require all traders to use appropriate weights on their stalls. Appropriate weights means a weight of at least 20 pounds on all four legs. Options include:

  • sandbags
  • buckets or solid boxes filled with concrete
  • water/metal weights
  • leg bases

Those that do not have the appropriate weights will be required to trade without the canopy on their stall or they will not be granted permission to trade at all. Pitch fees will still need to be paid by those traders who are unable to trade due to a lack of  weights.

Traders are responsible for taking appropriate precautions to protect their goods, and ensuring their stall or goods do not cause damage to a neighbouring stall or members of the public.

Traders not wanting to attend a market due to bad weather

If traders choose not to attend a market trading day due to bad weather, notification must be given to the Market Superintendent by: 

Pitch fees will still need to be paid under these circumstances.