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Hopes are high despite slow start for market hall

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 23, 2014

21/06/14 Market Hall reopening - Market Hall, Burton Official Opening of Burton's Market Hall after undergoing a major refurbishment..

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IF anyone had expected scores of shoppers to be swarming around Burton’s market hall in its first week, they would have been disappointed.

At lunchtime today, there were just a handful of intrigued customers wandering into the revamped historic building and then quickly leaving.

‘A bit quiet’ was the general view of the shoppers and the traders setting up shop there – but hopes were high that things would improve.

Sarosh Ahmed, who has travelled from Birmingham to run the E-Cig shop, said: “It is quiet but it take a bit of time. If it was a newborn baby, you wouldn’t expect it to run within a day or two. I have a very good feeling.”

Simon Kirby, who runs Quiglo Kitchenware, has come from Sutton Coldfield to set up shop.

He told the Mail: “It’s quite slow, but that’s what we expected. I think it will take two or three months for interest to build up and for people to come and appreciate it.

“I know there has been some history there. It might take time for people to come back.

“The people I have spoken to have been very positive. I’m not stressed about it at all.”

One trader, Harry Hussain, who runs Fresh Catch fishmongers, said: “People have been walking in and out, because it doesn’t look like it’s open, but I have served a few people. I think it will be good if there is more footfall, but we need to get people in to have a look.”

The hall opened with a host of activities on Saturday, following a major £1.6 million, 10-month revamp by East Staffordshire Borough Council.

Councillor Julian Mott, leader of the authority, said: “We are delighted with the positive feedback received.

“The council has made a significant investment in refurbishing the market hall and it was great to see so many people turn out for its reopening.”

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