MARKET traders in Mold moved by a square revamp had mixed reactions on their first day away from their usual pitches.
Traders are being displaced until mid-November to accommodate the £500,000 renovation work at Daniel Owen Square, which started this week.
Stallholders, some of whom have questioned why the four-month programme of works is happening across the busy summer season and had voiced concerns about the effect on their businesses, were in new sites on Earl Road and in the high street for the first time yesterday.
They said it would take time to become established in the new plots but praised the council markets officers for making the transition as smooth as possible.
Diane Jones, who runs a baby and toddler stall and was operating on Earl Road on Wednesday, said: “I think markets officers have handled this really well.
“It’s only the first day so we’ll have to see how things go but, all in all, I don’t have any complaints.”
Katie Duplock, owner of Dawnsio Dance on Earl Road, had previous concerns about whether the market stalls might have an overbearing effect on her own premises but s aid: “Things are ok. None of the stalls are blocking my business.”
However, some traders are hoping the early signs will improve after reporting slower than average trading on the day of the move.
Clothes stall owner Inderjit Gill said: “I had a bad day. I took about half of what I usually do.
“It’s difficult to know how things will go but I’ll just have to see as things settle down.
“Your regulars get used to where you are and now they have to find you again.
"They have had to close the road to traffic while we are here so maybe that has had an effect too but I’m not too happy because I will get less money now.”
Karen Batten, who runs a pet food stall, said: “It has been very quiet but there is no signage directing people to where we are – which is disappointing.
“However, it’s only the first day so hopefully it will pick up as people get used to it as it is our livelihood.”
The square was caged off on Monday as work finally began after a final design was revealed last summer.
Contractors GH James are undertaking the work, which is expected to last until November 18 and includes the repositioning of the town's iconic Daniel Owen statue.
Market traders have been temporarily moved while the works take place but they and the Daniel Owen precinct will remain open for business throughout the period.
Clare Budden, chief officer for community and enterprise at Flintshire Council, said: “Flintshire Council has worked with Mold Town Council and the Mold Town Partnership to develop a package of improvements for Daniel Owen Square.
“The improvements will resolve long-standing drainage problems, replace the deteriorating surfacing and create a better quality space for day-to-day use, for the markets and for events – a growing part of Mold’s appeal to visitors.
“This project is an important element of a wider programme to bring visitors into the town and to improve the quality of Mold to meet rising customer expectations.
“The council and the contractor will do their best to minimise any disruption and we hope that everyone will be delighted with the improvements to the square upon completion.”
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