Traders have their say on Great Yarmouth's £4.7m market revamp

Sean and Lucy Dearn inside their new unit on Great Yarmouth marketplace.

Sean and Lucy Dearn said they are looking forward to the move into their unit on Great Yarmouth's revamped marketplace. - Credit: James Weeds

Traders from Great Yarmouth have said they are looking forward to moving into the £4.7m new market revamp from mid-April.

Stall holders moving into the new market building were able to see their new market stalls on Monday.

A spokesperson from Great Yarmouth Borough Council said that it was important to show the existing stall holders around the development as not only will the viewing help traders see what their new business space will look like, it will also provide them with the opportunity to measure up and get supplies ordered ahead of the planned move, which is expected to begin from April 15.

Great Yarmouth £4.7m market revamp

Traders from Great Yarmouth market viewed their new stalls on Monday, February 21. - Credit: James Weeds

Among those moving from the existing market into the new build is Sean and Lucy Dearn.

They will be moving on from selling fruit and veg - which Mr Dearn has been doing for 38 years - and will begin selling market chips and taking over the family pie and pea business as Mr Dearn's uncle Gary will be retiring on February 26.

"We're looking forward to it," Mrs Dearn said.

"The old place is run down and this new build looks more open and bright."

Sean and Lucy Dearn inside their new unit on Great Yarmouth marketplace.

Sean and Lucy Dearn inside their new unit on Great Yarmouth marketplace. - Credit: James Weeds

Mr Dearn said he is excited about the development of the town centre.

"You've got to start somewhere," Mr Dearn said.

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"Hopefully with the new market, there will be more development with the surrounding shops and more events in the town.

"I think the new build will have a better atmosphere.

"It's like a cathedral - it's brighter and you can't get a feel of how open the place is until you have a look inside."

Yasmin Harwood in front of her new unit on the market.

Yasmin Harwood said her unit on the revamped marketplace "looks fantastic". - Credit: James Weeds

Another trader who is making the move to the revamped market is Yasmin Harwood.

Mrs Harwood has been selling confectionary from Unique Sweets for 12 years.

Mrs Harwood said she thought the new stalls "look fantastic".

"I always knew they were going to be good.

"The new site is bigger for me and that's just as well, as I was short on space in the old stall.

"I think it will make a big improvement to the town.

"If the new market is full and with more traders, there is bound to be more footfall.

"There has been some criticism of the move, but a lot of people have no vision.

"People ask why have the council done this, but they haven't looked closely at the old market."

Ahead of opening for trade, Mrs Harwood will be moving her 350 sweet jars, freezer and slush machine.

Thoko Dawes, aka Big Mama.

Thoko Dawes (right), AKA Big Mama, said she "just wants to get on with it". - Credit: James Weeds

Known around the market as Big Mama, Thoko Dawes has been selling teas, coffees and light bites from her stall since 2019.

Ms Dawes said: "I really just want to get on with it now.

"It's been difficult as I have not been able to plan as I didn't know what was happening.

"It's good to see it really taking shape now.

"There's definitely been some highs and lows. But I'm happy to be making my way in now.

"I just want to get on with it."

People inside a developing market stall.

The cladding seen on this new market stall - which will be home to Sean and Lucy Dearn's pie, pea and chips stall - will be on all the new premises inside Great Yarmouth's £4.7m market revamp. - Credit: James Weeds

Ms Dawes said she was fortunate that her new stall is of similar size to her space at the current market.

She said the majority of her things are easy to move and she is "pretty pleased" with how the new unit looks and is happy with the amount of power outlets in the new unit.

Ms Dawes said she thinks it is a great idea the new market is aimed to have more of a focus on food and drink.

"But more than two tea stalls might dilute the customer base and that is a bit concerning," said Ms Dawes.

"I'm not sure how many tea stalls there are planned, but there has to sensible variety."

Ms Dawes is looking to move into her new stall from April 15.

She added: "I just hope there aren't any further delays.

"I'm getting older and I just want to get on and do it. Some of us have a timeline and we just want the move to happen quickly and without any complications."

Workmen inside the development site.

There is still work to be done inside the new build - before phase one is complete - but the council have said traders can begin moving into the new units from April 15. - Credit: James Weeds

Stall holders looking at a new market stall.

Stall holders making the move to the new market building were invited to look at their new premises to measure up and order supplies ahead of their planned move. - Credit: James Weeds

Work still happening inside the new market building.

Stall holders from the current market will be able to begin moving into the revamped marketplace from April 15. - Credit: James Weeds