“Too little, too late.’’
That is what traders in Burnley Market Hall have branded a scheme by Burnley Borough Council to get it back on its feet. A consultant is to be brought in to draw up a rescue package that will put the market hall back on its feet.
But feelings ran high at a meeting to discuss the plan at Burnley Town Hall this week and Mr Phil Rathbone, who has been trading in the market hall for 27 years selling socks and fancy dress outfits and accessories, stormed out.
He told the Express this week: “The message that came across was that we are small minded, amateurish and unprofessional. The traders in this market hall are working long hours and paying high rents, in my case £600 a week.
“There is no magic answer but reducing rents to get more businesses in would encourage more shoppers in here along with introducing free parking. These are ideas that have been proved to work.’”
The report, due to be published and presented to Burnley councillors in January, will come too late for owner of The Jewellery Box, Mrs Cindy Oliver, who says that the £250 a week rent she pays is unaffordable.
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