TRADERS who moved from Burton Market Hall to the Octagon last year are to stay at the site once their old home is once again open to the public, it has been confirmed.
Businesses which were shifted to the shopping centre during the refurbishment of the Market Hall said they had increased footfall in a better working environment since they moved, and they plan to remain in their shops on the first floor for the foreseeable future.
It means that when the temporary licence which travelled with them from the market hall moves back to the revamped buildings, they will remain in place and their connection with the market will have been severed.
Peter Hardingham, who manages the Octagon, said: “There was no requirement for these traders to go back. It was hoped they would have first refusal, but there was no obligation.
“There is a number who want to stay, and we are very pleased and welcome that.
“The market has been a boost. It has brought a great deal more people to the first floor and, I am sure, to the centre.
The market hall is coming to the end of a £1.6 million refurbishment, which is due to come to an end in the spring. When it reopens, the market licence for the Octagon will cease, and traders in the area currently branded as the indoor market will become part of The Pavilion on the first floor.
Traders themselves said they had settled into life at the Octagon and they were keen to work with the centre.
Michael Bowler, of Bowlers Books, said: “I’ve seen a big improvement here. We’ve got CCTV and security, and there was nothing like that before. We’ve got the cafe here and the toilets give us a reasonable flow.”
Harry Gowdy, who runs HK Celebrations, told the Mail that moving had been so difficult that he did not want to do it again.
“We’ve got more space here, and to go back would be like starting all over again. I’ve been getting old and new faces here,” he added.
Over at The Model Shop, business has picked up to the extent that the company is moving into a larger unit.
“We have found it better and we are getting more people. We have new customers here every week, and it’s a lot to do with placement,” said Elizabeth Marshall.