11:46 Thursday 07 February 2013

Octagon market move is dubbed a 'cynical ploy'

Written byBY HELEN KREFT

THE manager of a shopping centre has welcomed news that Burton’s indoor market will be moving in despite a councillor dubbing it as a ‘cynical ploy’.

It has already been revealed that Wendy Newitt, of Wood’s Fruit and Veg has refused the opportunity to move into the empty upstairs area of the Octagon Shopping Centre – saying ‘it is dead’.

Those trading inside the market hall will be given the opportunity to move on to the shopping centre’s first floor from March while vital refurbishments are undertaken at the historic hall.

Meanwhile, Mrs Newitt is allowed to trade in the soon-to-be-demolished brick built buildings until August and then she will close up for good after 37-years.

The Octagon Shopping Centre in conjunction with East Staffordshire Borough Council said it saw the centre as ‘natural and fitting place’ to temporarily rehome the stall holders with its ‘central location and sizeable footfall’, adding that shoppers will also benefit from the move with an extended offering for the next nine months.

However, Councillor Bill Ganley, who has been supporting the market traders, said: “This is a cynical ploy to use the popularity of the market traders to get people into the Octagon.

“They should be given compensation for moving upstairs.”

The ever popular variety of stalls will be available to shoppers most days from Monday through to Saturday and the traders will be supplied with either purpose built market stalls or housed in existing units to allow more space for their small businesses.

Peter Hardingham, DTZ centre manager of The Octagon said: “We are thrilled to welcome the indoor market to The Octagon. We have had plans to redevelop the first floor at the centre, however we have decided to put these on hold to accommodate the market.

“This is a fantastic addition to our offering and I have no doubt our shoppers will be thrilled with the extra selection the centre will have to offer on a daily basis.”

Steve Hinds, head of finance and asset management from the borough council added: “I am extremely happy that we are able to work with the Octagon to ensure that the stall holders can prosper in the build-up to the full redevelopment of the Market Hall. It is great to see so many traders are eager to experience trading from the Octagon. As well as the existing tenants, the market will add to the atmosphere of what is already a bustling shopping centre.”

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