‘It’s heartbreaking’: Peterborough market traders speak of sadness after being forced to close stalls
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From 1 April, outdoor market traders will be forced to cease trading from the current Northminster market site for at least two months - ahead of the construction of 300 houses as part of the relocation of the market.
Peterborough City Council have permitted traders inside the market’s food hall, who are moving to the new Bridge Street market, to continue trading until the new market opens in June.
‘Trying to hold back the tears’
Paramjit Singh, 55, owns an Afro-Caribbean food stall and stopped trading on 26 March.
He took over the family business from his dad in 1988 - and the business has been on the site of the market since 1968.
Mr Singh is relocating his business - but is not moving to the new Bridge Street market in June.
“I never thought in my wildest dreams that Peterborough market would shut,” Mr Singh said.
“I’m standing here now and this is probably the last time I will be coming back to somewhere where I’ve stood for about 40 years - it’s heartbreaking.
“I’m trying to hold back the tears and my wife was in floods of tears last Saturday night - which was our last day of trading. We’re all trying to keep it together because even though we’re moving onto a different venture we will be leaving all this behind.
“It’s taught me everything about business. It’s a part of me and to leave that part behind and see it bulldozed will be heart wrenching.”
‘We hope customers come with us’
Sandra Jose, 41, owns a fishmonger on the market called Peixaria Portugal.
She will remain at the existing market with the other food hall traders until June, before moving to the new Bridge Street market.
“No one likes change but we haven’t got a choice - we have to go,” Ms Jose said.
“In terms of location, it will be much better because it is in the city centre as opposed to where we currently are on the outskirts.
“Some customers have said it will be nice but others have complained about the fact there is no parking and that it is not going to be like a proper market like before because there won’t be as many stores around us.
“We don’t have a lot of fishmongers around so we hope our customers come with us. The feedback we have had from most of them is encouraging and reassuring.”
‘Time for City Market to thrive’
The new market will feature three fixed gondolas along the street - each providing trading space for four traders, as well as dedicated storage space.
Each stall will have a retractable roof and will be able trade for at least five days a week.
Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for housing, culture and communities at Peterborough City Council, added: “We’re confident that the new market will have a busy summer of trading.
“People are returning to offices and shops in the city centre and getting ready for an exciting summer full of events and activities.
“This is the right place and the right time for our City Market to thrive.”