THE Covered Market has been given the Royal seal of approval after Prince Charles said it should be at heart of the city’s future.

Prince Charles told traders earlier this week he was pleased the historic market was able to stay open and thrive and that it should be remain at the centre of the city’s future despite inevitable development of the area.

He walked around the market - opened in 1774 - with The Duchess of Cornwall as part of his visit on Tuesday.

Oxford Cheese Company owner Will Pouget said: “He was thrilled that a market like ours was able to stay open and for the next generation it should be at the centre of the future of retail in the city.”

Mr Pouget added that traders felt they may get ‘left behind’ with the new Westgate centre opening in October and that the Prince of Wales’ visit and backing would give them a boost.

He said: “The last ten years have been tough but the market is still successful - the Prince of Wales is the champion of independent small businesses so his visit is great for the profile of the market.”

The Prince’s Trust has long backed small businesses and supports independents with training and mentoring support and resources.

He is also the patron of several organisations that protect British agriculture and promote organic farming and produce.

Later on in the day Prince Charles visited Kellogg College where he launched a Master’s course on sustainable urban development in the face of increasing housing demand.

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price said he spoke to the heir to the throne about the market’s success.

He said: “The Royal visit was great for the Covered Market, it’s such an iconic place in the city.

“Prince Charles asked me how it was going commercially and I said it was successful.

“He was very pleased to the market doing well.”