Dozens of traders in Kirkgate Market will be permanently or temporarily displaced
What is happening to traders who would be losing their stall as part of the Kirkgate Market redevelopment project?
The big changes proposed for Kirkgate Market amount to dozens of traders, (perhaps up to 50 or more -the council has never revealed this figure), being permanently or temporarily displaced. As a result, FOLKM knows, at least more than half of them are leaving the market.
The council claims that they are trying to relocate them in phases into the existing vacant units in the Market but there are not as many empty units as traders displaced. A bidding process is taking place where only the displaced traders are allowed to participate. However this is riddled with problems and the bidding process itself was been described as “very poor” by one of the traders. Here are some of the problems:
- Some stalls have been in their current location for more than 30 years and changing location in the Market is a very big risk.
- What is more it is very difficult to find a same size unit which will mean substantially changing the business and perhaps letting staff go.
- Some of the offered units have been empty for a long time which reflects their poor location.
- It is also hard for traders to choose a new location without knowing how that new stall will perform in the new refurbished market.
And this is just for those with “permanent” leases. It is unclear what is happening to those in temporary leases.