Friday 14 June 2024
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Nottingham

Victoria Centre Market traders still unclear on their future

Traders at the Victoria Centre Market are calling on Nottingham City Council’s new leadership and senior councillors to engage with them to discuss their future.

The council announced in 2022 that it was looking at ending the lease on Victoria Centre Market to save £39m over the remaining 50 years of its term.

It said it was unable to keep subsidising the market after rents were put up by the centre’s previous owner, intu.

After negotiations to exit the lease early failed, and some new businesses were encouraged to open on temporary leases, traders were then informed in December last year the authority was aiming to end the lease by summer 2024.

John Easom, of Gold Bank Jewellers, wants the market to remain open and believes it can be a success with proper management.

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John Easom of Gold Bank in the market
John Easom, of Gold Bank in the market

He says no councillors have visited the market to discuss the issue with traders since the decision to close it was announced.

On Monday, May 20, Cllr Neghat Khan took over as leader from Cllr David Mellen, and a new executive was appointed.

Cllr Sam Lux took over as executive member for carbon reduction, leisure and culture, and traders are now calling for a meeting.

Writing to Cllr Lux, Mr Easom said: “It would be great if you would engage with us, as you are now the portfolio holder for the market.

“No councillor has visited us in several years despite multiple invites to David Mellen, Pavlos Kotsonis, Rebecca Langton [the previous portfolio holders], and many others.

“We are not unreasonable people, we just want the ability to run our businesses with quiet enjoyment.

“It is clear NCC has got nowhere in now two and a half years, with no progress on the closure of the market, so why not try a new track?”

Mr Easom says it has been six months since Colin Parr, the corporate director in charge of market decisions, announced a closure by the summer.

He says no update has since been given.

Giving an update during Full Council, Cllr Lux said the council had agreed terms and did have an opportunity to exit the lease in early 2023, but negotiations unfortunately failed.

“Recently in terms of changes the council is still seeking to close the market and officers met with the operators of the Victoria Centre last month to discuss which exit options now exist,” she added.

“As the new executive member, I am meeting with officers in a few days to discuss the options available to us to deliver a decision.”

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