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Octagon market move is dubbed a ‘cynical ploy’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

07/02/13 Top floor of Octagon centre - Octagon Centre, Burton Top floor of Octagon centre....

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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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  • shoppersylvia  |  February 10 2013, 4:59PM

    Market - Split 3 Ways So, we have gone from the Market Stall Holders trading from one location (One stop shop) to being spread over three sites. I wonder how many of those who make these decisions have actually ever used the Market on a regular basis? It's not only about supporting the small, local and family run businesses, purchasing fresh produce, it's also about the rapport and social interaction we have with the existing Stall Holders that matters too, something that appears to be missing from the redevelopment plans.

  • frenchy108  |  February 10 2013, 12:18PM

    I have submitted emails to 4 counsellors from the area, local MEP and Andrew griffiths MP, plus the editor of the local, There must be more we could be doing, we have got to start somewhere and try to preserve our choices, financies and peoples livelyhoods

  • frenchy108  |  February 10 2013, 9:01AM

    I totally agree with reader 12345, souless is an understatement.What bit of soul we have left is being stripped away piece by piece. When did east staffs coucil become a dictatorship?? How can a council elected by the public, take away the choice of where that same public choose to shop?? I use the market to feed my family with fresh, good value produce and as a recent documentary proved it costs LESS than over powering supermarkets, giving me substantially more for my money,fresh and honest produce. So for my choice to be removed is a disgrace, as for everyone else who uses the market for the same reasons. Where is the public's vote or opinion?? As for the bustling octagon centre, what a joke..half of it has always been empty, even a long standing cafe has left the upstairs, the only trade to go upstairs use the public TOILET. I will support the market where ever they go, and if the stalls finish to trade then i will take my trade to another local market, avoiding the octagon, overpriced supermarkets and a town bustling with charity shops!! It is an disgusting way to treat the traders who have supported the town for so long, where is the loyalty to them and in todays financial climate, i would think any rent/rates the council get is better than NONE...

  • DJones1  |  February 09 2013, 8:28AM

    If your quote from Stephen Hinds is correct, ‘It is great to see so many traders eager to experience trading from The Octagon'’ would you please ask him who these traders are? Beatties, the one shop that directly led customers to the 1st floor of the Octagon, has closed. There will be no passing trade, the passing trade will pass beneath them which is why the traders with whom I’ve spoken, like Tony from the egg stall, have turned this offer of a move to the upstairs Octagon down. The article also says that the traders will be moved from the market hall ‘while vital refurbishments are undertaken at the historic hall’. I know the market hall is to be closed while work connected with the Council’s plans could be carried out, such as demolishing the central stalls in the market hall to turn it into an entertainment venue at night, and demolishing the brick-built stalls outside, to be replaced with cafes, I believe. Is there also some vital work that’s being carried out? Can you say what that is as that’s gotten little attention?

  • Peter777  |  February 08 2013, 2:09PM

    Has the Market Hall been sold to the College yet, before the local council elections in May?

  • Reader12345  |  February 08 2013, 9:48AM

    As a fan of the market and a user for many years I am horrified that the council see fit to split it up. Part of the market in the hall, some traders in the Octagon and some pushed into Station Street. Why on earth would I want to trek to the upstairs of the Octagon and buy pounds and pounds of fruit and veg, only to have to trek back downstairs, having to navigate stairs, the escalator or the lift? Could someone please answer me this? What really is the council's ulterior motive for dismantling the market? Do they think that if it disappears us Burtonians will forget about it and they can do with it what they will? The market is somewhere I actively support and believe is the heart and soul of what is becoming a soulless town.