TRADE at Wrexham’s historic markets is on the up.
A year ago the Leader reported how traders were struggling to survive due to the economic climate.
Last December a huge campaign was launched to promote the People’s Market, the Butchers’ Market and the General Market – which have been trading for more than 100 years.
Now traders hope the worst is over and are looking forward to what they hope is a more prosperous future.
A National Market Traders Federation has been set up in Wrexham and the chairman Michael Mullen said the markets are “bubbling”.
He said: “There is no doom and gloom here whatsoever.
“We had the busiest October in years, I think people are coming to the markets because the out-of-town shopping areas can be too far to walk to.”
Mr Mullen added that despite there being about eight empty stalls in the People’s Market there are new businesses due to join.
Another worker, Jim Sheffield, who runs Jim’s Antiques Emporium, said: “We’re hoping the Christmas period will be busy.
“We have done well since we started here 10 months ago and we just need local people to continue supporting us.
“We offer a range of everything at prices people can afford.”
Rob Clarke, who runs Mad4Movies in the Butcher’s Market, said: “National events like the cuts can get in people’s heads and it affects trade.
“But new businesses have joined and I think things are picking up.
“We just need the continued support of the public so that they know we are here.
“We are always looking for new ideas to promote the stalls here.”
And new businesses are moving into the markets - George Walker has taken up a new stall called GW Fishmongers Ltd which is in place of Hugh John Jones the butchers which has moved into Henblas Street.
And in the General Market 21-year-old Penny Jeffcock has set up her own floristry business.
She has been in business four weeks and said: “It seems to be going ok, you do get quiet days but I have got a big order for a wedding in June.
“It was difficult to get started financially but I’m confident.”
George Walker, who sources fish all the way from Edinburgh, is equally positive about the future.
“It’s beginning to build up for us now,” he said.
“It was quieter to start.”
Mohammed Anwar, who has been in business for 42 years and works in the General Market, said: “Trade is coming back slowly.
“We have to work hard and have competitive prices but you find people do come back to you.
“We’re keeping it going and we are surviving.”
If you are interested in opening a stall at the markets the council’s economic development department are offering incentives.
Town Centre Manager Isobel Watson said: “We’re always willing to give people a licence for a short term let if they want to give it a go for a few months.”
Contact 01978 292457 for more information.
See full story in the Leader