Page 31 - MarketTimesAugust2016
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  Market Times • August 2016
REPORT
 As shoppers arrive at Berwick Street from Shaftesbury Avenue through Walker’s Court they are faced with demolition. Disruption will continue with the building of
a new hotel
 flowers here for 50-odd years, but we couldn’t stay if they put up rent by 400 per cent, which is one suggestion,” she said.
The council are adamant that they are committed to the future of the market. They simply think it would do better in private hands.
A council spokesperson said: “Berwick Street is one of London’s oldest markets, with a rich and celebrated heritage, but it is not currently reaching its full potential.
“The council believes that an established and reputable operator, with the right retail and business skills, would be better placed to run a flourishing market that is diverse, vibrant and entrepreneurial, and that provides a real focal point for Soho and its residents, workers and visitors.
“Under the new model, local traders and community representatives would sit on a board, alongside the council and the operator to ensure that the market achieves its goals. This new model will give traders greater ownership over the future direction of the market, allowing them to hold the operator to account and generate wider benefits for the local community.
“We value the opinions of the local community, and have been engaging with traders, residents and local businesses to capture their views on the proposed model since February 2016.
“On the back of feedback received so far, the decision has been taken to launch the new market in spring 2017, at the start of peak trading period. As a result temporary licences will continue to be granted up to 31st March 2017, subject to the standard licensing process. The contract for the new market operator will be awarded in autumn 2016.”
Despite the positivity from the council, the traders fear being priced off their market and are contributing to a fighting fund to protect their rights.
Jeanine Boulter
 Laecia Stannett
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