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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Kingston First locks traders' stalls

Three traders are hoping they won’t be evicted from Kingston’s ancient market place.

They say they've been told they are surplus to requirements by management team Kingston First, because they don’t sell food, and therefore don't fit in with the future vision for the area.

On Monday night, their stalls were locked and they have been out of work ever since.

Alex Griffiths has taken up their cause.

He says, the news has come at the worst time - when the country is celebrating the Love Your Local Market campaign.

To sign the petition to keep the traders on site, click here

This is the statement from Kingston Council regarding the situation

Why are changes planned for the Ancient Market?

We are working together to unlock the full potential of Kingston Ancient Market. The intention is to help the market trade more successfully by providing a high quality offer in an attractive setting which will draw more people to the historic core of Kingston town centre. At the same time we will be retaining the character which is such a popular feature of the current market.
The improvements to the Ancient Market will combine subtly toned new granite paving, stylish but functional street furniture and a creative lighting scheme to create a beautiful public space with character and drama. We have also devised a creative solution to managing the waste generated by the market which will remove the unsightly waste storage facilities behind the existing market stalls.

There will be brand new market stalls which will provide a much better working environment for the market traders and open up views of the Grade 2* listed Market House building. The new timber market stalls will incorporate a “glowing orchard” artwork feature which will illuminate the stalls when they are closed and help to bring vibrancy to the market place in the evening.

How is the project being funded?

The enhancement of the Ancient Market is supported by the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund which is helping to bring vibrancy and economic growth to high street places across London. A total of just over £2 million from the Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund will be invested in key projects within the town centre.
The Council is also investing its own capital resources in the Ancient Market project, with a total investment of just under £3 million planned for 2013/14.

What will the Ancient Market offer?

The enhanced market will build on its existing strengths by providing a high quality hot and cold food offer. The emphasis will be on local traders and local producers providing the essentials for a daily shopping basket, something tasty for lunch or a treat for the weekend.

The new layout for the market will provide 29 permanent stalls compared with only 25 at present. There will also be space to accommodate up to 24 pop up market stalls which will allow more opportunities for a wider range of traders to enjoy a pitch at the Ancient Market.

How have the market traders been involved?

The traders are crucial to the long term success of the Ancient Market. Many have a long association with the market and it is their commitment which makes the market what it is.
The traders have been closely involved in developing the detailed plans for the Ancient Market. The Council and Kingstonfirst met with all the market traders in December 2012 to outline the proposals and to seek views from the traders.

During January 2013 the team designing the new market stalls met on a one to one basis with each of the market traders to discuss their individual requirements for space, storage and stall facilities. These requirements have been incorporated into the design for the new market stalls.

The traders have an appointed representative (himself a stallholder) who has been a key member of the steering group overseeing the detailed design of the new market stalls.
Kingstonfirst and the Council will be convening a further meeting with all the market traders during May 2013 to discuss how the market will continue to trade in the main Market Place during the construction works.

New licence agreements for market traders

Kingstonfirst manages the Ancient Market on behalf of the Council. Kingstonfirst has recently met individually with all the market traders to discuss the renewal of trading agreements for 2013/14.
Three of the existing traders have not been offered new permanent market stalls as their product range is different from the hot and cold food offer proposed for the Ancient Market. All three of these traders have been offered the opportunity to continue trading at the Ancient Market with a new product offer or to trade from the Fairfield Monday Market.

Kingstonfirst have provided one month’s notice to these traders in accordance with the provision in the previous trading agreement. However, Kingstonfirst has also made it clear to the traders that there is scope to reach a mutually agreeable timetable for winding down or relocating the existing businesses.
When will the project start on site?

The intention is to start on site with works to the Ancient Market in September 2013 and for the project to be completed by March 2014.

What about the Christmas Market in 2013?

The online version of the Surrey Comet on 30 April 2013 mistakenly reported that the market traders will be selling fruit and vegetables from Memorial Gardens during the construction works for the Ancient Market. This is not the case.

During the construction programme the market traders will continue to trade from the Market Place. The details of how their stalls will be temporarily relocated are still to be finalised. Kingstonfirst will consult closely with the traders on this during the coming weeks.

During the construction programme there will not be room in the Market Place for the Christmas Market. This will be relocated to the War Memorial Gardens on a one off basis for 2013.

posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 10:25 pm  

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