Traders hit back at revamp plans

NDET 8-10-12 RKH 14 Market traders Paul Alton, Colin Batty,Tracy Simmons, Andy Price, and Ian Tighe moving into the temporary premises.
NDET 8-10-12 RKH 14 Market traders Paul Alton, Colin Batty,Tracy Simmons, Andy Price, and Ian Tighe moving into the temporary premises.

Traders have hit back at criticism of Chesterfield’s market hall revamp - and say the town must move forward.

Last week Martin Topley, who has run a DVD stall in the market hall for two years, said stallholders had been “messed about” and slammed the council for threatening to bill him for not clearing his stall.

But this week as traders moved in to the temporary facility, in preparation for the major £3.4m refurbishment, most said they were looking forward to the work.

Ian Tighe, of 1,001 Vac Spares, said: “I’m very impressed with the temporary unit. It’s quite critical that the council get this right as it’s our livelihood and I think they have done.

“I’ve been in the market hall for 30 years and I think it’s more than ready for a bit of a spruce up. We have to move forward.”

Traders have set up temporary shop in New Square Arena which will officially open on Monday, October 15 and will accommodate 14 traders.

The market hall will close today and is scheduled to reopen next September.

Tara Kreeger of Venus Footwear said: “I must admit we were a bit worried about what the temporary Market Hall was going to look like but I think it’s a terrific solution. We’ve been telling all our regular customers to come and see us in the new premises.”

Paul Alton, of the Watch Box, said the work had caused upheaval for some stallholders but the majority were pleased with the plans.

Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council John Burrows, said: “We appreciate this is a substantial upheaval for our traders but it is necessary while the building work is carried out on the market hall.

“We’re more than happy with the temporary market hall structure and its prominence in the town centre will hopefully continue to attract shoppers during the refurbishment period and traders will continue to thrive.”