Politicians planning questions over success of Barnsley’s new market hall

Questions are to be raised about the success of the new Glass Works market hall when Barnsley Council meets, as concerns have also been raised that the new six-day opening policy could affect Penistone’s Thursday market.

By Paul Whitehouse
Tuesday, 16 July, 2019, 18:02
Barnsley's new market hall

Lib Dem councillors on Barnsley Council have revealed they have been conducting research among traders at the market, which opened late last year to replace the aging facilities in the old Metropolitan Centre and have found stallholders dissatisfied with the new arrangements.

Details of both concerns emerged at a meeting of Penistone Town Council and Coun David Greenhough, who attended in his role as a Barnsley Councillor, told members: “We have been doing surveys in the market and there are a lot of disgruntled stallholders. It isn’t going very well.

“There are a lot of unhappy stallholders and we will be raising questions in full council,” he said.

Penistone Town Council were also shown a pamphlet by resident Jack Briggs, which advertised the market was now open six days a week, including Thursdays – when Penistone’s own market trades.

That date had been set centuries previously, he said, to avoid a clash with Barnsley’s own traditional Wednesday market day.

However, Town Councillor Ann Rusby said: “I take on board what Mr Briggs is saying. I think what they are saying is the market is open on Thursdays, when it didn’t used to be.

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“They are trying to promote it as six days, rather than the market day is Thursday,” she said.

Coun Robert Barnard, also attending in his role on Barnsley Council, offered to ask the markets department “What their ultimate plans are”.

Six day opening has been the root of conflict with some market traders, who have argued turnover doesn’t justify six day and late afternoon opening for the market.

However, Barnsley Council has altered the profile of the market to make it a key element of the regenerated town centre with more prominent entrances straight off Cheapside and May Day Green and believe opening times which reflect those of other businesses will help the town thrive.

They have been involved in marketing that change to ensure the shopping public is aware of the new opening times and insist the market is growing successfully, with improved levels of ‘footfall’, or visitor numbers, and traders who are satisfied with the new arrangements.

More stalls are now opening following the completion of additional work on the Glass Works building, meaning the market hall will have a wider choice of traders in future.