Traders are backing proposals to make Northampton’s historic market square a CIRCLE.
UPDATE: Did you fall for it? This is of course an April Fool hoax. We had fun writing it, we hope you had fun reading it.
The suggestion has come from economic experts who claim research proves round and oval trading areas create a better atmosphere and result in an increased urge to spend.
Steven Fear, managing director of Round Pound, said: “Everyone says it sounds bizarre but there’s science behind it.
“We think, and there’s quite a bit of evidence, that people are more relaxed in smooth, rounded shapes and therefore less uptight about buying that new dress or mobile phone.
“That, and circles are known to be naturally difficult shapes for things to get out of - think of eggs. Making the Northampton market round could trap in the profit for the traders, if you like.”
It is only the latest in a series of plans to reinvigorate business for market traders, which have included an annual ‘beach’ during summer months, regular entertainment and, last month, a proposal by Labour leader at the Guildhall Danielle Stone to arrange stalls along Abington Street.
Market trader Eamon Fitzparick said: “I think it’s worth a go. If you think about it, most of my best sellers are round or spherical - your grapes, your apples, your toms, your plums.
“Put it this way, I’ve never sold a square satsuma.”
Round Pound have not said yet how the market Square could be adapted but other towns they have worked in have come up with novel solutions, such as inflatable barriers to round off corners.
Another deployed volunteer Circle Guardians who link arms at existing corners to ‘round off’ the edges. They also act as tourist information advisors.
Architect Samuel Illie said more permanent solutions may exist because of the soft materials used to construct Northampton Market Square buildings.
He said: “It would be quite possible to round off the corners of the existing buildings to create a circular effect.
“It would take quite a lot of sanding but if everyone who visits the town centre agreed to do a little bit on their way in, I don’t see why we couldn’t be successful by 2030.”
Round-up: Northampton’s top eleven circular (and spherical) things
The earth (not forgetting other planets, bodies and the sun)
Soup (when in a bowl)
The humble full stop