‘Not enough room for both’: traders hit out over Junkyard Market
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019
Norwich Market traders claim a rival market in the city has hit their business - saying “why is there room for two?”.
Concerns have been raised that Junkyard Market, at St Mary’s Works, has had an impact on the number of customers at the city centre market.
Kingston Gray, owner of Lucy’s Chips, said weekend trade had dropped by 30pc since Junkyard Market opened in August.
“That is on top of a 40pc cut due to the pandemic,” he said. “It amazed me they were allowed to open in these times. I’ve got nothing against them. But we’re all struggling at the market and trying hard to keep staff employed.”
The Junkyard Market team, however, said the driving force behind the venture was “to support businesses from Norwich” and they had maintained a 50/50 split of local suppliers and those from Suffolk, Norfolk and London.
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They have also raised £15,000 for the Norwich Soup Kitchen.
For Anita Adcock, owner of The Mushy Pea stall on Norwich Market, the city centre is not big enough for two.
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She said: “They shouldn’t have been allowed in the city centre. There is not enough room for two John Lewis shops or two Marks and Spencers. Why should there be room for two markets? We’ve struggled because of coronavirus and the last thing we need is another market.”
Ms Adcock urged Norwich City Council, which has been contacted for comment, to add seating areas.
She said: “People are drawn to Junkyard Market as they have seating and covering which we don’t have. It’s not their fault. But it needs to be sorted here.”
Mark Wright, owner of Taxi Vintage and chair of Norwich Market Traders Association, said: “I’m not against rival markets or begrudge anyone earning a living. But we’ve got the best market in the country in my opinion and don’t see why we need another one.”
The Junkyard Market team said: “The driving force behind the Junkyard Market was to support businesses from Norwich and further afield who had seen their summer income decimated by Covid-19, whilst bringing a modern-day twist on the al fresco dining experience to the city of Norwich in a safe and fun environment, after months of lockdown.
“We understand that times are tough for so many, and we have been sure to maintain a 50/50 split of local suppliers and those from Suffolk, Norfolk and London to add some interest and variety, whilst also using local contractors and providers to ensure we are supporting as many as possible throughout this seven-week venture.”