Preston Market traders have been voicing their anger at what they claim is a ‘rip off move’ by Preston City Council.Advertisement
Around a dozen traders who are retiring or planning not to move into the new market will have to pay market rents up until early February – despite potentially not even being open.
Banana King, one of the traders who will leave the market before Christmas, say the city council have asked them to pay two months rent upfront by December 4.
Norman Young from the firm said: “We, and other traders, feel it’s a very crass move.
“You’re talking about traders who have given their life to the market and now right at the end the council want this money.
“There’s stalls who are retiring, or who are making staff redundant to not work beyond December, and now the council are trying to get a final payment for time we’re not even going to be trading here.”
Mr Young announced on Tuesday that Banana King would be relocating to Orchard Street and not joining the new market.
He says the rent payment would cost his business nearly £4,000.
The new market had been due to open on Monday 4 December but the city council pushed the opening back at the request of the trader, many of whom wanted to have a final Christmas in the market.
Mr Young said: “I just don’t understand this decision. We have been working well with the council but they have not explained this well.”
Read more: Final weeks of trading at Preston Market captured in pictures
Ellen Young from the Banana King stall has emailed council leader councillor Peter Rankin demanding an explanation – but has received no response.
Market traders who are moving into the new market are not understood to have been hit with the demand for two months of rent.
Director of environment at the city council Adrian Phillips said: “We are in the process of dealing with leases for the new market and current market hall. As you can appreciate, the situation is complex and we are unable to discuss leases for reasons of confidentially.”
The new market is due to open in early 2018. No confirmation has been given on exactly what the stalls will be in the new market.
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