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10 NEWS


MARKET TRADER, MARCH 29 - APRIL 11, 2019


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A digital impression of the completed Glass Works complex


REP. OF IRELAND 13 ISSUES 26 ISSUES


Stallholders receive warning letters


Market traders at a new flagship venue in a South Yorkshire town have been issued with solicitor’s warning letters, after failing to trade for the six days required by their lease agreements or for packing up early on quiet trading days. The stallholders at Barnsley’s new Glass


Works complex have also learned that the town council is bringing in outside consultants to help boost the market hall’s image, just a matter of months after it opened. It has been reported that Barnsley Council


has written to eight traders with regard to their failure to remain open for the stipulated six days, informing them that they are in breach of their lease. Kieron Knight, group spokesman for Barnsley members of the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF), claimed the problem stemmed from low footfall and trade, leaving stallholders unable to pay staff and having to resort to closing early to cut costs. Barnsley Council disagree with that view, however, and have described trade at the site as “bustling”. The Glass Works market hall opened in autumn last year, and is considered to be a key element of the overall complex, which is still under construction and will feature conventional shops and leisure outlets. But Mr Knight said traders had struggled


with the stipulation that they open for a full six days a week as customer levels did not justify such long hours. He said the majority of traders were not


in favour of working Thursdays, when there is little or no trade in the town, and also felt there was no point in remaining open until 5pm. “They are not happy about it,” he told


local media. “Target customers have left by that time. After 2.30pm or 3pm customers are very thin on the ground. “There isn’t really an audience at 4.30pm or 4.45pm – the town is deserted.


“It all impacts on their profits, hence why


there are empty stalls. What should be the most exciting time in a generation for the markets is turning into a nightmare. “When people have a break clause after


two and a half years, I expect some will take it because they cannot sustain six day working. They don’t have the trade to be able to afford staff. “They are not getting any quality of life,” he added. At a recent meeting between the market’s management and Barnsley NMTF group, traders were told the authority was hiring consultants to find ways to improve the market’s image. But Mr Knight said many ideas had


been put forward by traders early on in the process of creating the new market, and claimed that expensive consultants would not have been required had the council acted on the stallholders suggestions. Cllr Roy Miller of Barnsley Council told


local media: “We have a requirement to ensure that the market is operating consistently so that customers get the best possible experience of Barnsley Market. “This means that all of our traders open


on the same days and at the same times and adhere to the market’s opening hours – an agreement they entered into with the council when they signed their leases. “This is the same for all traders in


the market, and is an approach that is supported and encouraged by the National Market Traders Federation. “The market is enjoying bustling trade. Footfall increased by ten percent in December 2018 on the previous year. With more of the Glass Works set to open this year, including the new Market Kitchen, Library @ the Lightbox and café/restaurant lounges, the market will continue to be busy. “We’d like to encourage people to continue to support our fantastic traders by shopping locally.”


Reduced fees to remain


Councillors have approved the continuation of reduced stalls fees for a West Midlands indoor market as part of plans to give a boost to the struggling event. At a recent meeting of Sandwell Council’s cabinet a proposal was passed to extend a 25


percent cut in rents for traders at the Kings Square Shopping Centre in West Bromwich, which was first introduced in September 2017. The reduction was proposed after stallholders called for financial assistance to help their businesses survive while the local authority draws up new plans for the ageing building. Cllr David Hosell, Cabinet Member for Highways and Environment, said: “The council commissioned a strategic review of the indoor market which concluded the existing facility was no longer fit for purpose, and a businesses case should be explored to identify potential investment options and partners to recover its financial viability. “Whilst the investigative work is ongoing market traders have requested some financial support by way of the continuation of a reduction in market stall rents.” The business plan is expected to be reported to cabinet in April.


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