MARCH 2 - 15, 2018 No. 4921 70p Move could kill market say traders

Stallholders in a County Durham town are annoyed about council plans to move their historic market, local media has reported. Durham County Council

is considering opening up a stretch of the small river known as the Cong Burn, which runs under the Market Place in Chester-le-Street. The plans are part of a £6.2m flood prevention scheme being proposed by the local authority, and if given the go-ahead, the watercourse would be transformed into a public realm feature. However, this would mean

more than 100 market stalls would have to be relocated both during and after the works, and traders fear the move could “kill” the market, which currently operates on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Fabric trader Chris Simon

regularly travels 120 miles from Burnley in Lancashire to attend the market. He told local media: “This is a family business and we have been coming here for 40 years. “It has always been a strong

market but they changed it a few years ago and spent a fortune and moved us elsewhere. The business went totally flat – nothing. “We have managed to recover when we came back here, but now they are going to change it again after spending all that money. “They’re saying they are going to put us at the bottom

on stalls we have to erect ourselves. “Stalls you have to erect

are not substantial enough because of the weight, it is a danger as well.” Mr Simon also claimed that

traders had been “kept in the dark” with regard to the plans, adding: “They are telling us bits and pieces but nobody seems to know what’s going on properly.”

Potential sites

Cone Terrace, a former Civic Centre car park, and the car park to the rear of the town’s Wesley Terrace are being considered as potential sites for the market while the works are ongoing. Three locations have also

been proposed by the council as possible permanent sites for the market once the scheme is completed. Stallholder Michael Dodds

told local media the traders continually voice their opinions on plans to move the market, but they are not being heard. “The last time they moved

us we lost three quarters of our trade and we never got it back,” he said. “Now we’re fighting to keep this place going. “We have regulars who

come round and they are not happy because they say they are ruining it.” The council is considering

a number of options for the area, including paving over it, or the creation of a grassed

The Market Place at Chester-le-Street (Photo: Philip Evans)

area with a footpath, seating and planting. But fishmonger Keith Blight

says the council should be investing more money in the market. “What they want to do is

put a roof over like an indoor market,” he told local media. “People won’t get wet, have a few tables, people can walk around and have a coffee. “Even just put hard plastic over the stalls. “If the market was done right people would come

Preston market reopens

Preston’s refurbished grade- two listed Market Hall opened its doors for business on Monday, February 12 after a £3m restoration and new- build programme. The 19th-century market

has reopened following the construction of a new glazed interior, improved outdoor facilities and a range of new indoor stalls. With around 75 percent of the inside space allocated

ISSN 2057–6781

for food and drink usage, traders welcoming their first customers included a craft beer bar; a fishmonger; a butcher; a Caribbean food stall; and a cheesemonger. Construction has included

the installation of around 360 glass panels, as well as the refurbishment of the market’s steelwork and stone flags. Cllr Robert Boswell,

deputy leader at Preston City Council, told local media: “The wait is finally over and the doors are open. “This magnificent structure propels Preston Markets well and truly into the twenty-

first century, whilst being sympathetic to its heritage. “New and familiar traders

will provide fresh, local pro- duce from their new home so please shop local and support them.” The market replaces the existing indoor facility, which will be demolished to make way for a major development including a cinema and restaurants. The overall Markets Quarter project, which includes the outdoor covered market, the cinema scheme and the restoration of the Fish Market canopy, is worth £50m.

– it’s a market town.” John Porteus travels from Washington to visit the market each week, and he believes that reducing the site would have an impact on the local economy. He said: “They are going to

do away with three quarters of the market area. “People not only come here

to the market on a Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, they go into the main street and they spend. “They go to the church

over there because it has tea rooms. What’s going to happen to the cafes around here?”


Responding to the comments, Durham County Council’s head of technical services, John Reed, told local media that the authority was consulting with the public and traders over the plans. He added: “As part of the consultation, we are asking market traders and the market operator about possible alternative locations while the work is carried out and once it is complete. “We appreciate the market

is a popular and important feature of the town and will ensure whatever option is agreed there will be sufficient capacity to accommodate all of the current market traders.” The council has committed

19th & 20th MAY, 2018 Anglesey Agricultural Showground

Tel: 07919 275210 Email: ‘Free face painting’ ‘Donkey Rides’ ‘Models & Crafts’

up to £1.5m for the scheme, which also includes plans to extend the town’s existing flood wall. The authority is applying to the Environment Agency and European Regional Development Fund for the remainder of the cash.

Fine wines for Knutsford Market Hall

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INSIDE... Page 3

Markets hit by budget cuts

Page 19

Consultation on future of Grainger Market

‘Steam Engines’ ‘Motorcycles’ ‘Kangaroo Kid stunt show’ TRADERS WANTED!

‘Commercial Vehicles’

‘Classic Cars’

‘Children’s Entertainment’


‘Trade Stands’


‘Beer Tent & Live Bands’


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