North Devon Council will consider tendering out the site at its next executive meeting.

Plans to re-invigorate and enhance Barnstaple’s Strand could soon be moving forward.

North Devon councillors will decide whether or not to tender out the Strand’s former fish market site to a third party at an executive meeting on Monday December 5.

An approval would allow a business or entrepreneur to develop a ‘non-permanent’ structure on the site, which would help make the area ‘more attractive’ and with improved protection from the weather.

The old fish market is situated close to the Square on the eastern end of the Strand.

It is currently open space, but the council feels development would ‘encourage cafe culture and dwell time’ in the town.

A report written by economic development manager Ellen Vernon says there ‘would be merit in exploring alternative ways of securing investment’.

It said: “It has always been the ambition of North Devon Council to create a vibrant and busy leisure space along the Strand, making the most of its water frontage and historic architecture.

“The area along the Strand is currently under-utilised and with the new development at Anchorwood Bank the town centre is shifting towards the river.

“The area has the potential to be a real draw for those looking to eat, drink, relax and enjoy events in the town.”

If the council agrees to use the site for other purposes, a final decision will be made in January, while an occupier could be agreed by March.