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What do *YOU* think?

Leave your comments here about what do you like about Kirkgate Market, your memories, experiences, etc.

24 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 9:59 pm


    Glad to see a blog about Kirkgate Market, I love that place!

  2. kari permalink
    April 25, 2010 2:51 pm

    We the general public need to act – We didn’t do enough for the Corn Exchange, but I would hope this will have more support.

    Make sure you tell people to get involved!

  3. Alan Wheeldon permalink
    April 26, 2010 10:02 am

    Markets are cheaper!

    Friends of the Earth say: “Supermarkets don’t offer the best price to consumers. Supermarket low prices are only on a very limited range of goods. For example, a survey by Friends of the Earth found that supermarkets are the most expensive place to buy apples, market stalls and greengrocers beat the supermarkets, including Morrisons and Sainsbury’s on price [1].

    “A survey for Sustain in 2000 found that fruit and vegetables were around 30% cheaper at market stalls than supermarkets [2], and prices at markets in Lewisham and Walthamstow in London were found to be up to 34% cheaper than the local supermarkets, a study by the London Food Commission found. [3]”

    From my own experience, I reckon Leeds Market charges about half the price you’d generally pay for fruit and veg in the supermarket. If you have a freezer or can share, there’re even bigger bargains to be had.


    [1] In October 2002, Friends of the Earth surveyed 151 supermarkets, 58 greengrocers and 29 markets, the results revealed that the average price for a kg of cox apples was just £1.02 at market stalls, £1.07 at greengrocers, but at Morrions or Asda would cost £1.27 and at Sainsburys would cost as much as £1.44.

    [2] Sustain, 2000, A Battle in Store


  4. michael parkash permalink
    April 29, 2010 6:31 pm

    Good luck the present struggling traders,I know how you feel because I was one too !In my opinion the rot set in as soon as the last manager was (badly……ehm, VERY badly)appointed by the Council, and who we all now know has left with a golden state funded pension. Some may say that we should not be in the blame game but I certainly feel that I would have been trading in Leeds market even now if it had not been for mismanagement-the manager was obsessed with health and safety,but had no entrepeneurial nous on how to turn around this great market.I do blame him because the buck stopped with him-all decisions fell to him ,and if you have a manager with no vision or strategy and is there only as a glorified rent collector with henchmen who are only concerned with if your display is 2 inches over a designated yellow line,then your days are (as mine were) numbered.
    Having said that I someone can come in with a great vision on how to turn this landmark market,the biggest in Europe lets not forget,around,and bring the good days back.

  5. May 1, 2010 1:03 pm

    Kirkgate Market is still the best in Leeds for product range, food quality and price. I’ve done some comparisons this afternoon and it works out cheaper than Tesco or Morrisons.

    Its a great place to shop, been using it for the last 3 years and you can buy pretty much anything there.

  6. May 2, 2010 10:24 pm

    People seem oblivious to the immediate consequences of using supermarkets instead of proper markets, the two most important things to me are that
    (1) the people you’re giving your money to in a market are local, so your money’s going back into the local community
    (2) (emphasising foe’s point) when you’re looking for the best value, if you’re in a market you can look round most of the stalls, see what’s the best value, not just cheapest, and also ask the traders about the origin, best way to cook it etc etc, totally different to the anonymity and indifference of the supermarkets

  7. Peace permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:53 am

    The market needs to become a central part of Leeds shopping. Its position at present makes this rather difficult and its not at the hub of the city. The Eastgate development should help the matter. Another thought would be to redevelop the 1970’s indoor market and outdoor market areas building a city park, or sky park, vertically above the markets areas. This would attract more people to the vicinity and also provide the city with a large park space. Unfortunately that would cost a lot of money…

  8. Kevin permalink
    June 1, 2010 12:51 pm

    A Market has to be first and foremost exactly that – it has to sell the things people want, when they are able to buy them. Until Kirkgate addresses that it is doubtful whether any amount of investment will help.

    It has to ask some hard questions about who the audience is and what they want. At the moment it is a confusing place with the traditional attractions of fruit and veg stalls down to nearly single figures in the older part, and lots of stalls selling cheap tat (mugs, hair products etc).

    Is it going for the poorest customers or is it aiming for more moneyed customers? Is it going to be a Borough Market or is it going to be a glorified pound shop? Or something in between? And lastly when will it adjust its hours to meet modern working hours where the only chance many people get to shop is after 5,30?

  9. suzy permalink
    June 9, 2010 4:34 pm

    I think Kevin has made some very valid points in his comment. The market concept wise is all over the gaff at the moment. I think it should have a bit of everything as sadly people do want to buy the cheap brica brac from the tacky shops, but also people want good quality fruit and veg, meat and fish. I’d like to see some more farmer’s market stuff, organic stalls and specialist foods.

    For me closing the market is something that shouldn’t happens and there is no need for this to happen. It’s historical, beautiful (when you look closer at the building) and part of our heritage in Leeds. Marks and Sparks started there for goodness sakes! ;0)

    Jamie Oliver is setting up a stall in L:eeds Market. Does he know about the wobbely future of it? I wonder what his opinion is? He must think it’s a pretty smart place for his stall to place it there.


  10. mike permalink
    July 31, 2010 9:09 pm

    I think the Market is the best thing about Leeds, it may sound like I’m overreacting but when i walk around the Market now and see how its a ghost of its former self, it actually hurts. The market was a big part of my childhood growing up in Leeds and when i visit it now i cannot believe what i see. I don’t live in Leeds anymore but when i do get a chance to go back i always take a trip into the Market with my girlfriend and she doesnt believe me when i talk of how beautiful and amazing our market once was. I remember Christmas time when i was child and every stall been decorated and selling Christmas things and to me as a child it wasn’t christmas without the trip.

    In future id love to see the market become the day out it used to be. I’m moving closer to Leeds again in the near future and hope that one day ill be able to take my children there and give them the experience i had as child

  11. Peace permalink
    August 18, 2010 8:13 am

    How about the market sets up a cooperative delivery service for people who buy goods from there. Many people have time on lunch breaks to shop on a weekday but some don’t always have the means to store fresh meats and frozen goods at their work.

  12. Peace permalink
    September 19, 2010 6:51 am

    Due to the downturn in property development there are a number of interior designers out of work or graduates unable to gain experience. The government has recently stated that the unemployed should volunteer to gain experience. How about adverstising for volunteers to develop plans based on arbiitray budgets to make the market interior more appealing. These could then be presneted to the council….

  13. Gareth permalink
    November 12, 2010 12:37 pm

    I believe that pedestrianisation of Vicar Lane, for the section in front of the market would provide the ultimate boost to the markets. It would create a new square, and with it’s proximity to the existing pedestrianised shopping core attract very decent footfall, especially as people walk towards the new Eastgate development.

    I think the square itself would be a real attraction with the magnificent arcitecture of the market to one side.

    I think currently the amount of traffic using Vicar Lane cuts off the market from the rest of the shopping area, and is holding back footfall for the market.

    I say lets campaign for pedestrianisation of this short stretch of Vicar Lane.Traffic could easily be routed behind the market…

  14. Suzy permalink
    November 13, 2010 9:22 am

    I have lived in Leeds all of my life and have seen major developments throughout the centre in all of that time.

    I am really saddened by the way in which ‘Meat Row’ has changed, in that it’s just a random selection of stores. A relative of mine ran one of those meat stalls for years before he retired. It’s just not as welcoming at all.

    At Christmas, as a previous poster has mentioned, the market was always the place to head for to get all the fresh meat, fruit and veg for the seasonal celebrations. In a way, it still is, however now, it’s so spread out, it’s difficult to find the stalls to go to.

    I think that the market should be reordered so that there are groups of stalls together. Bring back Butcher’s row, but also get all of the fish, fruit and veg stalls into a single section each.

    Perhaps the bottom end of the market could be redesigned so that there is a separate section for ‘new traders’ who are trying their hand at running a stall. You never know, a new Mark’s Penny Bazaar may emerge.

    I really hope that the market doesn’t end up closing as I have had many years of memories from there as I’m sure many others have.

  15. Peace permalink
    February 1, 2011 10:29 am

    Suzie in her post above proposes sectioning the market based on what traders sell. While I don’t like this sort of approach I can actually see a great benefit. If the food retailers (butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, deli’s and cafe’s) were all together this part of the market could stay open later on an evening. The market winds down and closes before many people have finished work. This could create a great space where all walks of life could come together after work to shop for fresh food and eat.

  16. CHRIS C permalink
    February 11, 2011 7:24 am

    Leeds City Council Wanted Years ago to sell the Market that’s why they have let it get like it is pushing up rents So its had to make a living For traders in the end over time the market gets empty like is it doing now how many stalls are there to Let now ?.

    at some point the council says we are selling it due to lack of use and running costs.

    Lower Rents would get Traders back in the Market its Simple to see that and the Council knows it or its run by fools

  17. Lesley permalink
    February 27, 2011 12:39 am

    hi, i dont think everyone in leeds realises the threat the market is under, even though youve all done your best to publise this. is this yet another move for the local council to try to offload one of its assets? the’ve done this with community centres, ensured older people and people with learning disabilities have problems accessing day care due to eligibility criterias. now they are making rents so high for market traders that shops will close and less and less people will shop there, thereby making its demise into a certainty. i think they already have the plans they want to do and its a bit like ‘brassed off’. theyve probably already done a report two years ago about its closure. we need to all fight for this and make the problem even more public.

  18. Jason permalink
    May 16, 2011 8:17 am

    The market may be dwindling but it’s not because of Eastgate. In fact, I am disgusted that some of the ‘Friends’ of Kirkgate Market are so outwardly attempting to hinder the progress and regeneration of this great city.

    We have two massive car park deserts right next to the market. Get them developed and more people will come to the eastern side of town.

    Trinity will push Leeds into 4th position nationally, Eastgate will put it back to 2nd, where it once was. With these developments, we can hugely increase the number of people coming into Leeds to shop, and the amount they are spending.

    The market hasn’t been dwindling because of development- these developments aren’t even built yet! It has been dying because it doesn’t provide what people want, at the prices they want or the times they want. I can get food cheaper in Morrisons and avoid a dirty market by shopping in Primark. I can also shop for longer- the market has such strange opening hours. Sort these issues out and provide quality food and goods and it’s a winner. Look at Covent Garden- it has the right model for a city market.

    What you don’t need to do is object to a development that is clearly going to be good not just for the market but for the entire city.

    • May 16, 2011 11:41 pm

      Thanks for this comment Jason. If you read our objection we are not saying that the market is in decline because of Eastgate. We have long argued that it is mismanagement and complete lack of imagination and disregard for the great resource that the Market is for the city. Primark might be cleaner but what a great, sustainable, local, ethical, company and employer….

  19. Debbie permalink
    July 28, 2011 10:20 am

    I just added to my petition signature, that Leeds City Council have proved themselves to be short sighted, and to be without any commercial awareness.

    Also, that it’s now clear why the rents have been pushed up and up and up over the years (some now comparing badly with commercial premises (i.e. shop) rents), and why they have failed to invest inthe market for many years. Forcing traders out of business so that they can point to the empty stalls and say that the market isn’t working… classic trick.

    The only comparable market that I’m familiar with is the Grainger Market in Newcastle. It’s in the heart of the city, and surrounded by shopping sites – admittedly, it’s smaller, being hemmed in by buildings all around it – but it’s a massive success story, and with decent investment, and council and public support, it’s survived a massive fire that gutted the place, and has come back stronger than ever.

    I think the Eastgate development may be the best thing that could happen for the market, because it gets people down there who may not have been before, and it will recentre the shopping area of the city. However, I think the the council see the market as a liability that will make Eastgate look untidy. After all, don’t want the poorer people who frequent the market making the nice shiny development look like a mess do we?! (NB that’s sarcasm, not my actual view!)

    As to the question of what do you want the market to be – why can’t it be a place for poor people and for foodies? Why can’t it be a place that sells good produce, good products (the non food stuff), and a wee bit of tat to make it interesting!

    Have to say, Leeds Market is one of the things that keeps me living in Yorkshire – I’d be much less inclined to without the market.

  20. Gordon Lyons permalink
    September 21, 2011 5:36 pm

    Pleased to see that Myers Fishmongers have new labels that tell you where their seafood is from. I no longer have to ask. May we see more of it!

  21. Lisa from Brisbane, Australia permalink
    November 15, 2011 9:10 pm

    These markets are famous around the world, thanks to celebrity chefs, like Rick Stein & James Martin, recognizing their value – to quality food, small suppliers & the community. This was one of my ‘must see’ spots when I visited Leeds the last few times on trips to the UK. Somethings should be kept the way they are & this is one of those! I hope they are still there on my next visit, whenever that may be!


  1. 2010 in review « Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market

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