Wednesday 24 July 2024
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Decision of Victoria Market ‘due very shortly’, says councillor

The future of Nottingham’s under-threat Victoria Centre market will become clearer ‘very shortly’, a senior councillor says.

Last year Nottingham City Council said it planned to end the lease on the market in a bid to save £39m over 50 years.

The Labour-led authority says it has been running the market at an annual trading loss since 2014 and has had to subsidise the costs with more than £1.5m.

Councillor Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Economic Growth and Development, answered questions on the timeline for the market during the city council’s meeting on March 6.

She said the council has paid £25,000 to property consultancy firm Bruton Knowles for legal work.

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“The council has used an external contractor for this work as we don’t have the in-house resources to undertake this kind of negotiation, so we had to rely on an external resource,” Cllr Langton said.

The market, on the top floor of the Victoria Centre, was opened in 1972.

It has spaces for around 200 traders, but currently only has 31, including fruit and vegetable stallholders, book traders, hairdressers and cafes.

Nottingham City Council previously said it was in talks with traders about possible compensation offers if the market was to close.

But some traders have said they’ve been left in the dark over a final decision and whether compensation offers will be met.

Councillor Kevin Clarke, leader of the Independent Group, asked Cllr Langton: “Could the Portfolio Holder inform the Victoria Market traders when a decision about the future of the market will be finalised and, if it is closed when relevant compensation will be completed?”

Councillor Langton said: “I acknowledge that this is a challenging time for traders at Victoria Centre Market and I give my assurance that I will work with officers to conclude this as quickly as possible, keeping traders informed.

“An in-principle has been reached with the vast majority of market traders.

“We are now reviewing the full costs of exiting from the market. Should a decision be made to close the market, a new timescale will be drawn up and relevant compensation will be completed in line with that timescale.

“We are reviewing this position actively and we will be able to update traders and members when we have concluded this assessment and confirmed our next steps very shortly.”

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