Market traders in a Staffordshire city are being temporarily relocated to make way for a giant television screen, local media has reported. The massive TV screen is coming to Lichfield city centre to show the Wimbledon tennis finals and the British Grand Prix from Silverstone. But the weekend of free sporting entertainment means the Saturday market will have to move – and the traders are not happy about it. The event has been

organised by Lichfield City Council and the city’s BID team, and involves a huge screen measuring 20 sq metres being set up in the Market Square on Saturday 15 and Sunday July 16. On each of the two mornings

a children’s film will be shown, while later on the Wimbledon ladies’ and men’s finals and the British Grand Prix from Silverstone will be televised. On the Saturday evening a “fabulous family film” will be screened.

For viewers prepared to brave the British summer weather, three hundred deck chairs will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. On the Saturday Lichfield Market will temporarily relocate to the city’s Market Street, Breadmarket Street and Bore Street. Although stallholders received a letter from Lichfield City Council late last month apologising for any inconvenience that may be caused by the event, a statement sent from market

Traders unhappy about TV screen

traders to the Lichfield Mercury described their “disgust” at the way the council is treating them.

The statement added: “On

July 15 the market is having to be relocated due to a special event – again.

“A screen is being erected

on the square to show Wimbledon and the traders are being shunted into the surrounding streets to make way for them.

“Also a variety of other stalls are being installed around the market square by the organis- ers to ‘complement’ the event. “These stalls will block, and detract from, the regular traders that are there 52 weeks of the year. “Furthermore, the regular traders who trade all the year round will still have to pay the full rent giving no consideration to the inconvenience caused. “For the traders of Lichfield Market this is their living, it is what pays the mortgage and puts food on the table, and the council seems oblivious to this, as all too regularly are we being told to move for these pop-up events which detract the business away from the regular traders who support the city of Lichfield not just a couple of weeks a year but all 52 weeks.

“For many this is the final straw – they feel totally let down and feel sold out to whoever comes along and dangles a nice juicy carrot in front of the council’s nose. “In business continuity

of trade is everything and customers should not have to go scouring the streets of

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Market Street will provide a temporary home for some of Lichfield’s stallholders (Photo: Tanya Dedyukhina)

Lichfield in order to find the stall they want. They should be located in the same spot in which they trade each week. “Would the council dare ask Marks & Spencer to move as they wish to put a giant screen in front of their shop? I think not.

“We appreciate Lichfield has a historic past and regular events such as the Bower have to take place, yet these pop-up events are becoming too frequent and sadly the traders are tired of being treated as second class citizens.” Manager of Lichfield Business Improvement District (BID), David Tomalin, told the Mercury: “We accept this is a high impact event. It’s meant to be a one-off; it’s not meant

Evening market success

Traders in a Lancashire town held a special summer evening market event last month.

Dozens of people in

Haslingden shopped at more than 30 different stalls and were entertained with a traditional fair, live music and belly dancers.

ISSN 2057–6781

They later walked to the Halo sculpture to watch the Summer Solstice sunset and returned by torchlight. Organiser Andrew Taylor, who runs Craft Cabin and Beauty Floral, said they wanted to “bring people together by doing something different”.

“It’s all about trying to promote the market,” he told local media. “It’s a great community facility and a good community hub. “I t was

real ly quite depressing on the whole last

year but they have invested a lot of time and effort and tidied it up. It’s bringing in new businesses and it’s slowly working. “We have had a good mix of people coming through. “There’s a real buzz in Haslingden at

the moment

with a lot going on, a lot of investment and a lot of new traders.

“We have got some real flagship businesses in town and we hope that the market is going to be the same with a lot of drive and effort.”

to be every week. No others are planned.

“We are sorry traders are unhappy and it is a shame that they have to be relocated. “But it’s also an opportunity to perhaps bring new people into the city centre, people who may well come back in the future. “There will be a real flow- through of people accessing these events by walking past the market traders.” He added: “Lichfield City turned around the


request very quickly – the councillors have certainly seen an opportunity here to raise the profile of the city.” Cllr David Smedley, Leader

of Lichfield City Council, told Market Trader: “This event has been organised by the Lichfield BID, and approval from Lichfield City councillors to utilise the Market Square was given after careful consideration.

“Relocation of the market

is not a decision that is taken lightly; there are usually only three relocated markets during the year, and no additional events of this type are currently planned. “While the city council

appreciates the event may cause some inconvenience to traders, we also believe it will increase footfall into the city centre and promote Lichfield in general. “The city council refutes the accusation that the decision to relocate the market is based on financial considerations; income from this event to the city council will be no

Opening Times: The Market Hall

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm. Stall opening times vary. Wilko

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm. Sunday, 10.30am to 4.30pm. T.K. Maxx

Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm. Sunday, 11am to 5pm. (Times subject to change).

more than that received for an average Saturday Market. “This is an opportunity to raise the profile of the city and provide a family friendly event for residents and visitors alike to enjoy.”

The historic Market Square has been home to Lichfield’s markets since King Stephen granted the first markets charter in 1153.

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INSIDE... Page 3


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