Use it or lose it, warn worried market traders

Peterborough Market empty isles. EMN-170312-094157009
Peterborough Market empty isles. EMN-170312-094157009
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Traders have urged shoppers to use their market or lose it after seeing a dramatic downturn in footfall.

One trader at Peterborough market said profits were only a quarter of what they were 10 years ago - and after many decades manning stalls, some are saying this could be their last Christmas.

Hussain Waji, who said he has been trading at the market for nearly 40 years, said: “We are all thinking about who will have to pack up after Christmas. My profits are a quarter of what they were 10 years ago.”

Richard Holdich, who has been running a stall for 25 years said: “My concern is the decline in people coming to the market. How long can it survive? It has been a slippery slope for the past 10 years. People have to use it or lose it.”

Another trader, who asked not to be named, said the council were not looking after the market - saying that some pigeon droppings had not been cleared away for years. Other traders raised concerns that the Christmas Market in Cathedral Square was taking away customers.

Last month Peterborough City Council launched a scheme to allow new traders at the market to have rent free stalls through December. The council has also launched a festive competition giving shoppers at the market the chance to win a hamper.

Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet adviser to the leader of Peterborough City Council said: “We consult with market traders on a regular basis to get feedback on how they are trading, and to gather any suggestions they might have in increasing the number of shoppers who use the city market. Following on from these discussions we have launched a number of initiatives to increase footfall and to attract new traders to take up stalls.”