Traders slammed bosses at Preston market today after it failed to come away with a national award.Advertisement
One furious stallholder, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s not a good market. It’s never full. That’s a big turn-off for the customer.”
“A few years ago, it used to be packed with stalls. You couldn’t move. Those in charge need to advertise more and cut the rent.”
Leicester came away with the award for ‘Britain’s Favourite Market’. It also won the prize last year.
Graham Wilson, Chief Executive of the National Association of British Markets, told Blog Preston that 20 towns and cities had entered, but Preston did not even finish in the top four.
“There were four markets that won a significant share of the vote,” he said.
“They had good organisation with customers and staff, but Preston perhaps didn’t get the same level and did not finish in that bracket.”
The trader, who has been setting up his stall in Preston for four years, added: “It costs £27 to rent a stall outside for the day. That’s a big layout for sellers.
“They need to be given an incentive to come.”
And he reckons bosses do not play to the market’s strengths.
“They need to advertise the fact that it’s undercover, but I never see it in the press,” he said.
“Ultimately, I cannot see it picking up. It’s only getting worse. Traders may as well go somewhere else.”
Another trader, who also wished to remain anonymous, said market chiefs had not committed to campaigning for the award.
The stallholder said: “Advertising of our participation was not very prevalent and there was not enough money put into it.”
But market manager Dave Bullock said Preston’s relatively small population hindered its success in the online vote.
He said: “We notified every trader and tried to get the message over to the voters to get them on board, but there are cities, like Leicester, that have far more people and get more votes.
“We also have competition from nearby markets at Blackburn, Chorley and Leyland. But we will try again and we won’t give up.”