A FOOD market that wants to bring more independent businesses to the town centre is set to expand.

Helch Market opened its doors in December.

It is now hoping to add space for another independent food vendor while adding a ‘speakeasy’ cocktail bar and live music space.

The market in Gervis Place offers space for new food offerings at 'low cost' to get established in the town centre.

Bournemouth Echo: Inside Helch Market.

A Mexican street food vendor, Loco Lime, is set to move in in mid-December should the market’s premises license variation application to the council be approved.

Owner Jamal Benamor is ‘really excited’ for the expansion and the future.

“The idea is to make it more of a market so there are more businesses trading and expanding the space they’re able to trade in,” he said.

“So, expanding the seating, bringing another food vendor in, so everyone’s able to thrive together.

“The idea of downstairs will be a hidden cocktail bar, with a speakeasy, live music theme to it.”

Bournemouth Echo: Inside Helch Market.

Jamal said this business has seen huge growth in its first year with revenues increasing by five times since January.

He said: “You could start any restaurant here for less than £1,000. There’s no deposit, there’s no upfront rent, it’s just the easiest way to get started for a business.”

Bournemouth Echo: Inside Helch Market.

Helch has also focused on appealing to students by holding open mic nights every Tuesday and creating a ‘really good community’ around the business.

It has seen big growth on its social media, particularly over the summer allowing it to cement its presence in the town.

Currently, the food market is occupied by What the Cluck, a chicken business, Takatsu Ramen Bar and Noodlebar Express, which also has locations in Poole and Bournemouth.

If the premises licence application is approved there will be a relaunch party on Friday, December 15 as Loco Lime reopens.

Jamal’s ambition is to open a bigger market in the town.

He said: “I’m excited for growth and I’m hoping that this place will get to a point where I’m happy with it and I’ll be able to grow to a bigger venue.”