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Wishing you all a Happy and Prosperous


2018! SERVING THE NATION’S TRADERS SINCE 1922 www.market-trader.co.uk JANUARY 5 - 18, 2018 Delay hitting trade


It was reported last month that beleaguered retailers in a West Yorkshire city centre are questioning delays to a multi-million pound market hall redevelopment, saying they face closure because of tumbling profits. In February it will be four


years since Wakefield Council announced that the city’s new purpose-built but struggling market hall would close, to be replaced by a cinema and chain restaurant complex. Many of the hall’s market


traders have long since moved out, but the cinema scheme is not yet underway as planning permission for the site has still not been secured. Now shop owners on the


city’s Northgate say that with the market almost gone, takings have plummeted due to a lack of passing trade, and they are questioning why the council began asking market traders to leave before the plans had even been finalised. With Lloyds Pharmacy due


to shut this month because of cutbacks, there are concerns that other businesses could quickly follow. Julie Firth, who runs a cafe


and restaurant adjacent to the site, told local media that since the initial announcement in 2014 she has lost tens of thousands of pounds a year. She said: “We’ve had a massive drop in footfall, we are all suffering and we’re all waiting for this development.


“It would be competition but


at least it would bring people down here. I don’t know how much longer we can hold on. If we’re still here in six months’ time, it would be a miracle.” Mohammed Azeem, who


runs a convenience store said: “We are struggling to make ends meet, we just don’t get people around here anymore. With no market or anything taking its place at the moment, it’s killed it off. “We just don’t know where


we are with the market hall, I can’t see a future here to be honest.” Rizwan Neki , whose


newsagent occupies the only remaining external unit of the hall still in use, added: “I’m only surviving because of my regular customers, but I can’t continue like it is.” Zena Walker, who has a DIY


business opposite the hall, likened the loss of footfall in the area to “rats deserting a sinking ship”. A handful of traders are


still operating in the market hall, and are still waiting to be served the six-month notices to leave which Wakefield Council is legally bound to provide. Despite the hall being


largely empty, the heating and lighting is still running daily at an ongoing cost to the council.


Criticism The £3m market hall opened


Traders at Bolton Market worked on Christmas Eve


Page 10


Wakefield market hall, still waiting for planning permission to become a cinema and restaurant complex


in 2008, but the award winning building designed by David Adjaye met with criticism from the outset. In 2009 a meeting of the


council’s economic growth overview and scrut iny committee was told the building “should be torn down – and should never have been built in the first place”.


Committee member Janice


Haigh said the layout was wrong, adding that “a crane with one of those demolition balls” would be one way to improve it.


Also that same year of


a team of consultants was hired by Wakefield Council to help eliminate ‘design flaws’ at the market. Pr o b l ems i n c l u d e d


s ubs t a nda rd pa v i ng, inadequate drainage in the food hall and the layout. Wakef i eld Council ’ s


Andrew Wallhead, corporate director for regeneration, told local media the authority was “confident” that the issue with the planning application would be resolved shortly. He said: “Del iver ing major developments like


Fakes found on market


Suspected fake Liverpool FC and Disney merchandise was seized from Birkenhead Market in a crackdown on counterfeit goods. T r a d i n g St a n d a r d s


officers swooped on stalls in December after reports that imitation products were on sale, including items bearing the logos of Premier League football clubs, Marvel


ISSN 2057–6781


Superheroes and Disney characters. The operation was carried


out jointly with Merseyside Police and brand protection officers. Cllr Phillip Brightmore, Wirral


Council Cabinet member for Environment, told local media: “Counterfeit products can defraud the customer along with damaging and weakening a brand’s reputation. “Such products can put


customer safety at risk as they are not tested to high UK standards. “The supply of counterfeit


goods can also be linked to serious, organised crime and the funding of illegal operations. This is not a victimless crime. “Wirral Council will support


legitimate businesses and protect consumers by taking robust action against the suppliers of counterfeit goods and those who seek to sell them.” Stalls were reportedly


sealed off with police tape while officers investigated the products on sale. Other i tems seized included clocks, wal l paint ings


and UFC merchandise. Trading Standards officers


have warned that cheap clothing and products might seem harmless but are likely to be low quality goods and/ or unsafe. Wirral Council announced


last month that it plans to take full control of Birkenhead Market by purchasing the leasehold of the site. The authority already owns


the building in which the market operates, and buying the leasehold will give it full control over the 150 year-old market.


this are a lengthy process. “The council, like many


of the local businesses, are keen to see this project progress and look forward to the proposed development, boost ing both the day and the night-time family economy.”


No. 4917


INSIDE... Page 3


70p


Manchester voted


UK’s best Christmas Market


Page 19


What’s in store for markets in the year ahead?


Wishing all our


readers and advertisers a Happy New Year and a prosperous


2018!


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