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THE MARKET HALL, SCOTCH STREET, CARLISLE (01228) 513991


SERVING THE NATION’S TRADERS SINCE 1922 www.market-trader.co.uk SEPTEMBER 15 - 28, 2017 No. 4909 70p Welsh county council under fire


A county council in Wales has been condemned for the management of one of its markets and failing to fill empty units. Regional Assembly Member – Welsh Conservative Suzy Davies – has cri t icised Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) over the Indoor Market in the town’s Rhiw Shopping Centre, saying it has been slow to find ways of attracting new tenants. Via a Freedom of Information


request, Mrs Davies has also discovered that BCBC is locked into a lease on the town’s market hall lasting another 54 years, with no break clauses. The request also revealed


that the council pays annual rent, services charges and insurance of £226,000 for the market, which is owned by a private property company. It received rent of £246,000


from stallholders in the last financial year. Eleven of the 29 stalls at


Bridgend market are currently empty, and Mrs Davies got involved following a meeting with stallholders, who are concerned about the future of the market. Mrs Davies is urging the


council to be more proactive and more imaginat ive in attracting new tenants, claiming the authority has told her the vacant stalls are all on the council’s website and that some have marketing boards on them, while others do not. A statement said that the


council intends to instruct a local letting agent “in due course”, prompting Mrs Davies to accuse the council of having no sense of urgency. She told local media: “The


council needs to pull its finger out and start actively promoting Bridgend market to get more tenants in. An exciting market is a draw. “I recently visited the market


with Cllr Kay Rowlands, who is regeneration spokesman for the Conservative group on the council. We were shocked at the number of empty stalls we saw. There are whole aisles where there are no let stalls. “It’s very disheartening for


ISSN 2057–6781


the other stallholders who are fighting hard to make a living. “I have also asked how


much subsidy the market receives f rom counci l taxpayers, as the cost of its own employees such as the market manager is not included in the expenditure listed. “There will be less income


in this current year because so many stalls are empty, and this will result in a larger subsidy needed from taxpayers.” Cllr Rowlands admitted that


she was shocked to see so many empty stalls. “Bridgend market has


always been a busy, lively place with lots of hustle and bustle,” she said. “But with fewer businesses to attract customers, it has lost a lot of that spark. “There are some first class


businesses in the market and the council owes it to them to put things right. “The first thing we must do


is be more innovative in the way that we let these stalls. People should be given trial tenancies with reduced rents so that they can try out a new business idea before committing themselves to a longer tenancy.” She added that there


had been requests from organisations to use the empty stalls for display purposes, but these had been rejected. “Why? Anything that draws


people into the market will help the traders in there and shuttered stalls attract no one. The council and its staff need a new mindset. “It cannot be business


The Rhiw Shopping Centre, home of Bridgend’s Indoor Market (Photo: Mick Lobb)


as usual as too much has changed. Officers must start thinking laterally to turn the market into a catalyst for the regeneration of the whole town centre.” Mrs Davies claims that


market traders are already angry about the loss of the pedestrian link directly into the market from the old Rhiw car park, and that the relocation of the Shopmobility service from the Rhiw has also resulted in a drop in trade. She added: “I welcome the


new two hour free parking scheme in the redeveloped Rhiw car park. It’s a start, but


getting the market right will be key to ensuring that the town centre as a whole prospers and thrives.” A BCBC spokesman


told local media: “A Market Partnership Strategy Group has been established, and the traders and council are working together to develop new and innovative ways of attracting new stalls and supporting fresh business. “As regards some of the


suggestions that have been made, many of these have already been set up, including the offering of trial tenancies with reduced rates, staging


Choice of festive lights


Residents in a West Yorkshire market town are being given the opportunity to choose its Christmas lights. A public vote has begun


in Bingley to pick from five designs for the festive illuminations, which would appear on five lampposts along Main Street near to the town’s market square. The new lights are part of an


investment of nearly £7,000 by Bingley Town Council, which also includes illuminating a further nine trees around the


market square and Bingley Arts Centre. On offer are green and silver


trees, stars, baubles, angel wings and sherbet fountains, and the people of Bingley must decide. Bingley Town Council


chairman, Cllr Ros Dawson, told local media: “As well as bringing pleasure at Christmas and brightening the winter months, hopefully the lights will encourage more people into Bingley to shop and enjoy its amenities.


“The Town Council actively


supports ini tiatives and strategies to boost our town’s profile and make it an even better place to live and work.” Cllr Mark Truelove, who


organised the competition along with council lors Michelle Chapman and John Goode, added: “New and better lights are the number one issue that residents tell us they want, so the Town Council is using its funds to help grant this Christmas wish.”


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).


events within the market and using stalls to promote things like free storytelling sessions, the summer reading challenge or Halloween and Easter festivities.”


Bolton’s biggest food festival yet


Page 19


Crewe Market Hall in line for revamp


Page 10


INSIDE... Page 3


Market trading is Human Nature for Herts couple


THE MARKET HALL, SCOTCH STREET, CARLISLE (01228) 513991


GREAT PLACE TO TRADE


Enjoy a wonderful shopping experience in its beautiful Victorian Covered Market, Arcade Shops and T.K. Maxx & Wilko Stores.


M23056


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