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Wrexham's markets 'don't need £3m overhaul'

Published date: 04 April 2014 |
Published by: Rory Sheehan
Read more articles by Rory Sheehan


 

TRADERS have spoken out against multi-million pound plans for Wrexham’s three historic town centre markets.

A £3 million revamp, which would have seen radical changes to the People’s Market, the Butchers Market and the General Market in Wrexham town centre, has been recommended to be thrown out.

Instead, traders and council markets supremo Amanda Davies vouched for a continuation of the progress made by the “slow investment strategy” which has seen an upturn in trade since Mrs Davies turned her attention to the markets in September.

“We’ll turn these markets around even if it kills us,” she told a a meeting of Wrexham Council’s employment, business and investment scrutiny committee.

“Don’t look back, let’s look to the future.

“We need to work on improving the footfall before building improvements.”

A study – conducted on behalf of Wrexham Council by Quarterbridge Project Management – proposed £3 million of upgrades at the three town centre markets.

It suggested £1.4 million should be spent on reducing market operations in the People’s Market, with a cultural and arts hub put in place of some market space.

The Butchers’ Market would continue in its current form and receive £890,000 for a spruce-up, while the General Market would be “refocused” to provide space for restaurants and bars – aimed at boosting the night-time economy – at a cost of £729,000.

But traders and members of the scrutiny committee recommeded deferring the radical proposals.

Cllr Phil Wynn said: “What has been recommended is radical and may or may not be the right solution.

“It might be aspirational to have places like food outlets but the footfall in the town centre after 5pm might not sustain that business model.

“We would have to borrow money to do that and I’m not sure I could support recommendations for improving the ambience of the Butchers Market, which might not increase footfall. If we spend money we need to recoup it.”

Cllr Wynn was also cautious about the merits of a cultural centre at the People’s Market but added: “I would welcome a cultural centre in the town because we need to do more than we’re doing to attract people people here.”

Butchers Market trader Rob Clarke said radical change wasn’t necessary, and continuing to work with current management was the best way forward.

He said: “For years we felt we hadn’t been listened to by the council.

“We were cynical last year but what Amanda has done since has convinced us radical change isn’t needed.

“She needs longer than six months. It’s worth seeing what she can do with the People’s Market before it can be written of as a dud.”

The scrutiny committee voted to recommend a continuation of the current slow investment strategy.

The decision on the Quarterbridge recommendations will be considered by Wrexham Council’s executive committee.

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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  1. Posted by: sandrobe2001 at 11:46 on 04 April 2014 Report

    As much as these markets need attention, I'm sure the Council could find better things to spend £3m on. Such as making the Butcher's Market totally Wheelchair Friendly. Half steps/half ramp at the Henblas and High Street entrances, would be a good step forward but we do NOT need anymore watering-holes in the town, leaving the General Market as it is. It really is too small to tinker with.

  2. Posted by: toolio at 13:30 on 04 April 2014 Report

    Virtually all the market stall holders have said they do not want this revamp so why are the council pressing ahead with this ? Incidentally, where has this 3 million pounds suddenly been found, I we are all being told the council have no funds.

  3. Posted by: welshknight at 15:59 on 04 April 2014 Report

    might as well spend it on the markets, better than it going directly to the pockets of the mayor and his friends.

  4. Posted by: rousseau at 19:48 on 04 April 2014 Report

    Any investment is better than none. The problem remains that Wrexham as a shopping destination is a joke. Nobody travels to browse pound shops and empty shop fronts. Eagles Meadow is a insulting public school boy sketch of what they think Wrexham needs. The Labour Councillors have ripped the heart out of Wrexham and can't even raise £250 for Wales in Bloom. Next election, voice your disgust by voting for anyone but these people.

  5. Posted by: Fadro at 22:47 on 04 April 2014 Report

    "We need to work on improving the footfall before building improvements." I've been tring to sell my dilapidated house for 5 years. Still haven't one viewing yet so no point in trying to do any repairs. Marketing genius.

  6. Posted by: cup cake at 23:15 on 04 April 2014 Report

    A few months ago i went into the market, to a stall i often use, was checking the item i wanted was in stock after being told they would try to get it for me, good service, however when i went back, the two people on the stall were talking, when i enquired about the item, the look i got because i disturbed their chat, was told No, and they went back to talking. no wonder people don't use the markets with those attitudes, I wont be going back.

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