TODAY marks 50 years since the closure of Parliament Street’s weekly market and traders at neighbouring Newgate Market have mixed responses to the council’s planned renovation of their current home.
Public consultation on the plans, which include sprucing up Newgate Market and improving promotion, ended yesterday.
Stall owners spoken separately to by The Press said that a revamp was needed but increasing footfall was more important.
Steve Franks, a trader for eight years, said advertising was essential: “There should be signs to get people to come in.”
Gordon David, who has worked on the market for 37 years, said: “Generally, what the traders want is smarter advertising to draw more people in.”
Proposed changes also include building a social space, an idea that traders have criticised.
Mr David said: “They’re trying to move stalls out of the market and make it into a seating area, but we’re trying to say is: why do you need to move something that’s been here for 50 years?
“Money needs to be spent more wisely.”
Abbey Kotia has worked on Newgate Market for more than 40 years and believes a shared roof would improve the market.
She said: “It needs brightening up and made more inviting, with one roof shared by the stalls.”
The growing number of markets on Parliament Street has also been flagged as an issue. Mr Franks said Newgate Market’s stalls should be allowed back onto the neighbouring Parliament Street:
He said: “The council are bringing these outside events into Parliament Street. That’s absolutely disgraceful, because it takes away all of our footfall.
“We’re fully loyal to York market, this is our livelihood and yet the council are bringing people into Parliament Street who have no allegiance to York City Council whatsoever. Why can’t we go out there?”
Gill Cooper, City of York Council’s head of culture, tourism and the city centre, said: “ We’ve had a good, positive response from Newgate market’s traders, as well as from residents, city-centre businesses and users since consultation on the refurbishment began in 2012.
“We’re currently evaluating the response to this last phase of consultation. while we prepare final designs. We’re also looking at ways to improve footfall to the market from the Shambles, Kings Square, Church Street and of course, from Parliament Street." where Newgate’s traders will trade for 16 weeks from July 2014. This is while refurbishment works are undertaken, just as when last summer traders operated from Parliament Street on Mondays to accommodate essential maintenance.”