By Abby Bolter
Fears market could close after 133 years of trading.
Maesteg’s 133-year-old indoor market could close within a year if Bridgend council fails to invest time and money in its future.
That is the warning from concerned stallholders who have spoken out over the loss of key traders and an urgent need for refurbishment.
“I never thought I would have to leave this market before retirement age, but the way it’s going I think I will lose my business if they don’t pull their finger out,” said Steve Harris, owner of the Carmarthen Dairy Produce stall.
“If it carries on, I don’t think we will be here another year.”
Mr Harris and Marcelle Humphreys, who has run Sew&Sew for eight years, said they want to see a full-time market manager appointed to advertise the market and also encourage new people to open stalls.
They want targeted tendering – as happens with Llanelli and Swansea markets – to encourage new bread, newsagent and food businesses in to replace the key traders that have been lost – and incentives, including three months rent free.
They claim the council requires a bond which is too high and there is too much paperwork and form filling, which is putting potential tenants off.
And they said the market is in desperate need of a makeover as it has not been painted for 25 years.
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