Following a collective statement from several of the leading food traders in the market the council have issued a statement in response to comments made about increased rents to accommodate evening trading. That Beer Place, Nicebites, Vinological and Death by Tacos earlier posted that :
“SORRY! Unfortunately, we will NOT be open on Saturday evenings, as traders have been unable to negotiate agreeable terms with CWaC. On CWaC terms, many traders would have to pay double the rent just to trade for a further 5 hours a week.
We have also been informed that the supremely popular Friday evenings may be held at further (equivalent) cost or stopped if we do not pay this extra cost and open for Saturdays.
Again, we sincerely apologise to all our customers.”
After a heated social media debate the council have stated :
The Council has worked incredibly hard in partnership with the traders over the past 18 months to build and grow a thriving market that Chester can be proud of. We’ve invested in the market for the benefit of the community, in a new seating area, much needed toilets and new signage and supported a number of new businesses to develop unique offers.
As part of this commitment we have funded late night openings on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as Sunday days, with the plan now to also open on Saturdays. Every night that the market remains open is currently costing us £1,000. We’ve been as open and transparent as we can with the traders about these costs and there is no profit being made by the Council.
It’s vital that market traders, the community and the Council all work together to make the market as successful as it can be – we want to deliver Saturday nights for the benefit of everyone but it can’t come at a cost to the service. What we’re asking is that if you’re making money you make a small contribution to the weekly £4,000 costs currently being covered by the Council as the market grows in popularity.
We want to talk to the traders about this and work with them to find a way forward and we are meeting with the traders later this week.