Regeneration delay creates uncertainty for market cafes

A computer image of Barnsley's regenerated town centre
A computer image of Barnsley's regenerated town centre
0
Have your say

With only weeks to go to the opening of Barnsley’s new Glass Works market the council is still trying to find temporary accommodation for three cafes because of a glitch with construction timings.With only weeks to go to the opening of Barnsley’s new Glass Works market the council is still trying to find temporary accommodation for three cafes because of a glitch with construction timings.

A new Market Kitchen food hall will operate from the Spring, with the existing cafes expected to move in at the end of November – with confusion about arrangements over the next few weeks.

The council insist they are taking steps to ensure the cafes will continue to trade through the transition period, but cafe owners say they were told they may have no home for three weeks, extended to four, with the council offering £1,000 per week compensation.

One option offered is understood to be vacant stalls in the meat and fish market, though the suitability of that for operators selling hot food has been questioned due to the available facilities for preparation.

Coun Roy Miller, the council’s Cabinet spokesman for Place, said: “Market Kitchen will fully open in April next year regardless and will be complemented by our three fantastic market cafes that will move in at the end of November.

“There has been a delay to the initial moving date. This is because of the design time required to create a new temporary café area while the wider design and fit out of Market Kitchen takes place; the delay is not in any way associated with the contractor.

“Because of the delay, we have held close discussions with our café traders to help work out the best way to accommodate them, as we have with all market traders throughout the redevelopment work.  We are still exploring alternatives in order to keep the cafes trading and we have also offered traders compensation that will be fully paid by the council. Discussions remain ongoing.“We’ve made fantastic progress with the market and are looking forward to welcoming traders into Market Hall on Friday 2 November. Together with the Food Hall and market cafes, Barnsley Market will be a unique shopping destination that offers something for everyone, and I’d encourage people to get behind our brilliant traders as they move into this exciting new chapter in the market’s rich history.”

According to cafe owners, negotiations with an independent company to take on management of the Market Kitchen have failed, with the council looking for an alternative partner.

Coun Miller said: “The negotiation with the third-party around the operation of Market Kitchen is commercially sensitive and therefore we are not in a position to disclose any more information at this point.”