SHEFFIELD’S market looks to have a bright new future but stallholders are yet to be convinced.
Concern focuses on the cost of moving from Castlegate to The Moor and increased rents once there.
Markets manager Andy Ward said there will be a meeting with traders to discuss ‘possible help with the cost of the move and issues such as rent’.
He added: “The current discount they have due to the poor condition of Castle Market will go but the rates will be within £5 or £6 per week of what we charge at Crystal Peaks, which we believe represents value for money.”
But Andrew Steen, aged 61, who helps his wife Sallie run Sallie’s Cafe, on the lower ground floor of Castle Market, said: “I really wish we could stay here.
“If the management had spent money over the years on upkeep of the building it would not have needed replacing. When we move to The Moor, the rent is also going to be much higher. A lot of people say it’s going to be a new beginning and that we’ll bring in new customers but what about our old ones and if they have difficulty getting to the other end of town?”
Ian Bingham, of Bingham and Browne fruit and veg, one of the market’s oldest businesses, added: “We have concerns about the price of rent at the new building and the cost of moving.
“Traders are having the worst of times at present and they have no money left to cover the cost of setting up new stalls. We want help with fitting out the new stalls.”
Sheffield council said no major expenditure had been made at Castle Market in recent years because of the planned move.
Modernisation such as rewiring would have cost £1 million alone so would not have been money well-spent when the building is to come down, officers say.
The council points out that of 28 bus services which serve Castlegate, 23 also run to The Moor and that there are 15 more buses which serve The Moor but not Castle Market, so the new location would be more accessible rather than less.
Many customers of the current market are unhappy with the prospect of moving but the council hopes an attractive market building close to the main ‘shopping hub’ of a revamped Moor plus Sevenstone will be more successful than at present.