Peterborough City Market income £70,000 under target due to trader shortage

City Market Peterborough ENGEMN00120131021140902
City Market Peterborough ENGEMN00120131021140902
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Income from Peterborough City Market is expected to be £70,000 less than budgeted for due to a shortage of traders.

Peterborough City Council’s income target of £465,000 is unlikely to be met due to the council budgeting for every stall to be filled by traders.

The council is also refusing to reveal how much money traders owe in unpaid rent, claiming that the information is commercially sensitive.

Freedom of Information requests to find out the figure, and how many traders owe money, were both refused because it is claimed they would take more than 18 hours of officer time to work out.

But despite the anticipated shortfall the council hopes to make over £90,000 in profit from the market for 2015/16.

A spokesman said: “Our current occupancy rate is approximately 90 per cent which is above the national average of 72 per cent. Our occupancy rate has increased by around 8 per cent over the last 18 months.

“We are also currently in the final stages of welcoming a number of new traders to the market. This, in part, follows an increase in marketing activity to promote the city market which is led by a joint working group of traders and council officers.”

Currently, 124 stalls out of 139 at the market are occupied.

The predicted shortfall for the market was spelled out in a council report presented to the cabinet. The report described how the council is performing against its budget targets.

Having budgeted to reduce spending by £25 million in 2015/16, following a cut to its central government grant, the council is on course to better that total by £59,000.

The report adds that the council will need to make at least £18.8m of savings in 2016/17 to deliver a balanced budget.

The market is bounded by Northminster, Laxton Square, Cattle Market Road and Market Way. A debate over its future was sparked in March by councillors with some championing a return to its original site in Cathedral Square.

Budget outcomes:

How is the city council matching up to its 2015/16 budget forecast?

Income from car parking is £100,000 less than expected.

Expenditure on events in the city centre is set to exceed the budget by £37,000.

A saving of £133,000 is anticipated for Peterborough Highway

Services due to the number of people using the free bus passes

being less than anticipated.

There is an expected £237,000 overspend in the Children’s Services and Safeguarding department.

And for capital financing, £970,000 of savings are expected on interest payments for debt and savings on repaying debt.