Sheffield market rent cut ‘not answer’

The Moor Market in Sheffield
The Moor Market in Sheffield
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Reducing rents for traders atSheffield’s Moor Market is not a long-term solution, opposition councillors have said.

Sheffield Council said this week it would be reducing rents by between 35 and 40 per cent from November, to reflect the fact the site was still under development.

Currently traders pay just a service charge of £80 a week, but rent will be another £80 a week when it comes in.

Coun Penny Baker, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Sheffield Council, said: “I’m sure traders will welcome rent reductions, but it is not a long-term solution for making the market work.

“The market has been open almost a year and the council don’t seem to be willing to listen to what local people are saying.

“We need opening hours that actually fit for working people, a more diverse range of stalls and better transport links to the market.

“We’ve not heard progress from the council on any of these issues.

“The only solution council bosses are proposing is another discount, funded by taxpayers and leaving the council out of pocket.”

Traders will not be able to get the discounted rent unless they sign new tenancy agreements from the council.

Some are taking legal advice and say they feel ‘lied to’, as the council has changed its payments on the £18 million loan it took to pay for the market.

Originally it was expected to pay back about £1m, then reduce the payments, but now it will pay back £600,000 a year.

Events aimed at boosting trade in the market this weekend include an open-air cinema on The Moor.

The child-friendly cinema was due to have its first screening at 11.30am today with The Lego Movie, followed by Rio 2 at 2.30pm.

And a 3D model of the market is also being created by traders working with children’s artist Sam Galbraithe.

The workshop was due to run from 1pm to 3pm today and on various days through August.