Mixed reactions to relocation of traders as part of multi-million pound development in Wrexham


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

Traders temporarily relocated as a multi-million pound development gets under way have had mixed reactions to the move.

The businesses, usually based at the People's Market in Chester Road, have moved while works are carried out to transform the market hall and first floor car park into a new arts and markets facility.

A number of those affected have moved to the South Mall of the People’s Market, while others are temporarily based at the Butcher’s Market in High Street.

Janette Partington, owner of Esme’s Baby and Childrenswear, described the move to the Butcher’s Market as stressful but is pleased everything has come together.

She said: "We knew about 12 months ago they were developing it but we thought we were staying at that location while they did the work.

“Then we had a meeting about a week before Christmas and they said if we moved out it would be eight weeks quicker doing the work.

“This building is brighter, it is more traditional. There’s more footfall as well – I’m happy with the move but I am intending to go back over there when they have finished.”

However traders in the South Mall have spoken of their concerns about the drop in footfall caused by the closure of shutters which now separates their area from the rest of the People’s Market.

Karen Jones, owner of Rings ‘n Things  Jewellery, said: “We do need footfall and it’s just something we’re not getting in here at the moment. Takings are less than half.

“I think because the shutters are down now, you’re not going to get any passing trade – there’s nowhere to go. It’s depressing. If it continues like this there’s no way I can stay.”

Kevin Dipple, owner of The Cafe in the Corner, said: “We had the promise of footfall because as far as we were aware the market was staying open – but two or three weeks before Christmas the plug gets pulled on it. It’s been dramatically quiet.

“I know it is early days but I can’t keep not earning money – I won’t be here if I can’t afford to stay.”

Responding to the concerns, a Wrexham council spokesman said: “We are aware of the traders concerns and we are now liaising with the contractors to see if the shutters can be left up as requested in the short term. 

“We are also in the process of working with a designer to put in place a large scale map and other information that will be eye-catching and will attract attention to shoppers.”

RKM Wools, The Cafe in the Corner, Rings ’n Things Jewellery, Wrexham Jewellery  Repairs, Gemini Blinds, Kendricks Newsagents and Dexterity Ink Tattoo Artist are in the South Mall of the People's Market.

They will all continue to trade throughout the duration of the construction period.

Five traders including Sweet Sensations the confectionery stall, Esme’s baby, infant and children’wear, Little B’s Haberdashery, Guardians of the Garden ornaments and Antiques and bric-a-brac, have relocated and are now trading from the Butcher’s Market in High Street.

Wrexham Vacs is moving into 10a High Street and Piccolinos storytelling will continue at Oriel Wrecsam and within the Butcher's Market throughout the year.

Bag World has also moved from the People's Market to Wrexham Bus Station.

Cllr Hugh Jones, Wrexham Council’s lead member for people – communities and partnerships, said: “I know it has caused the traders some disruption but I am confident the end result will meet their expectations when the development is completed.  

“We will be keeping them informed of progress as the works take place over the next 12 months.

“In terms of what it’s going to bring to Wrexham, it’s going to be a regional centre for arts and culture so it will bring a significant number of visitors into the town.”

Alison Hourihane, business and community development manager for Wynne Construction, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the schools and local colleges and Wrexham Council in terms of community engagement for the project.”

See full story in the Leader

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