Page 29 - MarketTimesJune2016
P. 29

  Karen Bates is the manager of Chester
market Kevin Williams has been the cheese man on the market for the past 38 years
 Steve Cartridge, who has been selling fish at Chester market for 20 years, is optimistic about the future. He is pictured with colleague Ben Boden
used to use the market regularly were moved elsewhere.”
Gill Stanley, who has sold cards on the market for 30 years, has a list of the different offices and employers that have moved — and it makes grim reading.
“Bit by bit, with the closure of the tax office, the police office, the Odeon and the Gateway Theatre, Somerfields and TJ Hughes — it has chipped away at the footfall in the market and it has got much quieter.”
Ayub said: “The main shopping area is now 10 minutes away, Primark is a 15 minute walk. The traders have been sucked dry. I have had to close two of my units and we are all wondering whether we are going to survive until the new market opens, if it goes ahead.”
Kevin Williams, the cheese man for 38
years, is used to putting on a brave face. “Chester is a great place with the city walls, the races and everything. It is the ideal place for a destination market and Cheshire cheese is one of the oldest cheeses in the world — we would fit really well in a great market.”
But tucked away to the rear of a dated shopping centre, the existing market just isn’t reaching its potential.
Not every trader is downcast. Steve Cartridge, the fish man from Fleetwood, says business is good for him. “We have plenty of regular customers who come from quite a distance. I think the plans are great and the market should do really well in a new development.”
Only time will tell whether hope and optimism will triumph over concern and pessimism in Chester.
 l Market days: Monday to Saturday l Market rents: Casuals from £5 a
day, lockable units from £20 a day l Chester’s claim to fame: Chester
is one of the country’s best preserved walled cities. Founded by the Romans, it is famous for its Roman remains and amphitheatre, its medieval and Victorian buildings and for the Rows, unique buildings which house shops on the ground and first floors which are accessible by walkways.

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