Wakefield Market traders give their verdict on new trial venue

New outdoor market outside Wakefield Cathedral
New outdoor market outside Wakefield Cathedral

A new outdoor market was tested out yesterday as part of controversial plans to move traders from their current site.

Traders set up stalls in the Cathedral precinct, the proposed new venue for Wakefield’s outdoor market after the current Union Street site is turned into a cinema complex.

There was live music and stalls selling goods including jewellery, shoes, arts and crafts, food, carpets and rugs during the trial between 9am and 4pm.

David Lane, of footwear stall Footprints, said: “It’s been a quiet day but I think it will work a lot better in this part of the city centre.”

Fruit and vegetable seller Mark Venables said: “Potentially this will be brilliant and a fantastic move. I can’t wait to move here.

“Location-wise, it is very central. People are passing through between Trinity Walk and the Ridings, and there are major shops here, so there are a lot of people around.”

Allums Butchers, on nearby Brook Street, also ran a stall on the market.

Stallholder Lucia Allum said: “It has gone OK today for us, although a lot of people didn’t know it was on.

“It’s a good place to be, definitely.”

In July Wakefield Council approved the sale of the current market, which opened in 2008, to the owners of the nearby Trinity Walk shopping centre.

The indoor market could move into the Ridings Shopping Centre if the site is turned into a multi-screen cinema with shops and restaurants.

The proposal caused a backlash from traders and around 10,000 people signed a petition to oppose the sell-off.

But council bosses said the market was failing to attract enough shoppers and rents were being subsidised.

Wakefield Council said the new outdoor market was expected to start early next year.

Discussions were ongoing with the Ridings to move indoor traders there.

Further trials of the new outdoor market are planned for Friday, October 17 and Saturday, November 8.