Traders at Watford Market are hoping recent improvements will bring shoppers back to the Charter Place hall over the Christmas period.

Watford Council gave the indoor stalls a boost in recent weeks by promising extra money to promote a series of guest markets during the festive period.

The cash, including contributions from the stall holders themselves, has paid for the floor to be repainted and “a general tidy up”, something trader Grant Adams hopes will breathe new life into the arena.

Mr Adams, chair of the national market traders’ federation in Watford, said: “We want to bring it into the 21st Century. The market is Watford – without it the town wouldn’t be the same. It has lost its way a bit but we need to make sure it is back at the forefront of people’s minds when they come shopping.”

A guest food and craft market held last week brought revived interest in the retail site according to Mr Adams, who said the variation meant a positive future for traders.

Councillor Helen Lynch (Liberal Democrat, Central) said: “The market is the heart of Watford and we need to encourage new faces into it. The town is changing and we want to make sure the market changes with it.”

More one-day guest markets are planned to appear on November 5 and 19, and December 3 and 17.

Councillor Nigel Bell (Labour, Holywell) said: “I’m pleased that extra funding has been made available - though we're not certain just how much it will be yet. The market has got a great history and these guest markets are a great idea.”