MARKET traders in York say they fear a planned refurbishment will not prevent its downward spiral.
City of York Council is consulting on a planned £1.5 million Newgate Market refurbishment but the plans have sparked concerns among traders who believe they will not secure the site's future.
Coun Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said some of the most popular ideas were the widening of the street to enhance pedestrian flow into Newgate, the creation of a food court and pop-up stalls, and dual shop fronts in the Shambles.
But at a meeting on Monday evening, traders said they hadn’t been properly consulted and feared the council had already made up its mind on the final project.
Paul Anderson, member of Newgate’s traders committee, said: “I don’t feel confident anyone knows what’s going on. They look like they are listening but they are not.”
Rupert Harrison, who has worked on the market for 19 years, is concerned the redesign of the market, which currently holds 85 stalls, will force some traders to relocate and could be deadly for their businesses.
Other concerns focus on the £80,000 investment which will have to be paid back by the traders over ten years through an increase in rent.
The idea of extra food kiosks along Silver Street was welcomed by the traders as a means to create a busier entrance to the market, but they argued this was not a viable solution for the difficult winter months.
Mr Rupert said: “No maintenance money has been spent for years and the market is now run down by the lack of a strong management and the novelty fairs which take place regularly on Parliament Square.”
Traders demand more lighting, better cleaning and a big push in advertisement to give Newgate Market the fresh start it needs.
Mr Anderson said: “We don’t want to change that much but we want to improve what’s there.”
The traders will meet the city council today and hope to obtain more details about the redevelopment plan.