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Great Yarmouth Market traders’ massive rent reduction approved

PUBLISHED: 15:38 03 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:38 03 November 2017

Traders on Great Yarmouth's two market at the Town Hall after a vote which saw their rents massively reduced. Photo: George Ryan

Traders on Great Yarmouth's two market at the Town Hall after a vote which saw their rents massively reduced. Photo: George Ryan

Archant

The future looks bright for market traders in Great Yarmouth after a massive rent reduction was approved.

Yarmouth Market traders are celebrating after councillors proposed reducing their rents to 50p per foot. Photo: George Ryan Yarmouth Market traders are celebrating after councillors proposed reducing their rents to 50p per foot. Photo: George Ryan

Stallholders on the town’s two day market are set for their fees per foot of stall to go down over 70pc.

This takes the market from having the third highest rents in the region, to the third lowest.

Market trader Michael Anderson said he and his colleagues were “over the moon” at the decision.

He added: “It’s everything we’ve been after. We’re just well happy.

MORE: Great Yarmouth Market shrinks by half in a year as traders leave in droves

“It helps the old market traders and hopefully will bring new ones in as well.”

A report prepared by a Great Yarmouth Borough Council officer recommended rents be cut to £1 per foot – from the £1.73 current rate.

But councillors on the policy and resources committee last month went one step further by voting to cut that in half, to 50p per foot rate.

The decision was approved at a meeting of the full council this week, as traders and supporters packed into the public gallery.

One trader said he was gobsmacked after the 50p rate was suggested.

He added: “The council have given us the best possible chance to turn this market around now.

“At that price if we don’t fill up in a year there’s no hope for any of us.”

He thinks there could be an extra 50 traders in a year’s time.

Under the current rental arrangements only Bury St Edmunds and Hunstanton have higher rents, but the town could now be lowest apart from Swaffham and Fakenham.

In a report seen by councillors it was recommended that fees be reduced for permanent traders to £1 per square foot, a reduction of 42pc.

However, an amendment proposed by Labour councillor Michael Jeal was to reduce the fees by a further 50p per square foot, paid for out of the Town Centre Initiative fund.

It was agreed that the extra rent reduction could be funded for a year before being increased again to £1 and adjusted for inflation.

Permanent traders will get a rent reduction for 12 months to 50p per square foot and casual traders will pay 30pc more.

The two day market was once among the largest in the country, but like other markets Great Yarmouth’s two day offering has suffered a decline owing to changing shopping habits.

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