Wednesday, May 14, 2014

News: Rotherham market fees frozen

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Fees and charges at Rotherham Centenary Market are being frozen until September 2014 with many traders stating that they are suffering hardship in the current economic climate.

An annual review was due to be carried out with any recommended changes implemented from April 2014 but this has been delayed to give the council, who own and operate the market, time to consider the findings of an independent study into the future of the complex.

Consultants, The Retail Group are being brought in at a cost of £19,000 to identify the future strategy and growth plan for the town centre markets, and the right offer for the town and its customers.

The redevelopment of the markets is a pressing issue for the council given that the new £40m Tesco development may open on the site of the former civic offices before the end of this year.

The study, which is expected to report shortly, will help identify how the council can best support its traders to adapt to changing customer shopping patterns, as well as any short term disruption caused by the major infrastructure development adjacent to the market. The study will also advise on opportunities to invest in and take advantage of the new trading potential resulting from the Tesco store development.

Like the rest of the town centre, footfall statistics for the markets show that visitor numbers to the complex have not declined, with first quarter figures for 2014 showing a 10% increase on the same period 2013. Occupancy at Centenary Market remains strong but February and March saw seven market stalls vacated.

In a report to the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Development, Robin Lambert, Markets general manager at Rotherham Council, said: "Market trader representatives have requested that the stall rental fees for all markets be reduced or frozen, stating that many traders are suffering hardship during the current economic climate.

"It is proposed that the Fees & Charges review be postponed for six months to allow time for consideration and implementation of the findings of the independent study."

The recommendations were subsequently approved.

Today sees the start of the Love Your Local Market campaign. Led by NABMA (the National Association of British Market Authorities) and supported by both the markets industry and government, the campaign is in its third year.

Brandon Lewis MP, Minister for High Streets, Town Centres and Markets, said: "Britain has a proud tradition of markets that have long been a force for good for the local economy. Not only do markets offer everyday staples to the weird and wonderful, they offer a vibrancy and community spirit that the internet and out-of town retail centres can't.

"I'm delighted we're backing the Love Your Local Market campaign again this year. I urge traders and market managers across the country to champion this important campaign so more of our budding entrepreneurs start trading in our local markets."

The event all stems from a recommendation from Mary Portas who was impressed by Rotherham's street market in her initial visit to the town in 2011.

In Rotherham, new traders registering for the first time with a line not already on the market can trade for free between May 14 and 28.

Rotherham Markets website

Images: RMBC

1 comments:

Mick,  May 14, 2014 at 3:27 PM  

As a trader there I do hope it recieves the support and the finances to help it, it's not on it's knees but it's also not as vibrant or as prosperous as it could be given some enthusiasm and direction.

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