Yarmouth market move hits another snag

A visualisation of the Great Yarmouth Market Place redevelopment.

A visualisation of the Great Yarmouth Market Place redevelopment. - Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council

Plans to open Great Yarmouth's new £4.7m market face another delay due to problems with supplies and connecting gas and water.

The town's six-day covered market had been due to move into a larger home in January.

But the borough council says that ambition has now been put back to the spring.

In a statement the council blamed the move on delays in the supply chain and a message to market traders said there are issues with utility companies not being able to connect gas and water supplies until mid-January at the earliest with further work needed after that.

To support stall owners, the council say businesses will able to trade rent-free for the first two months of 2022 in the current covered market.

A quiet Great Yarmouth Market during the third Covid-19 lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The market is to be replaced - Credit: Denise Bradley

In a joint statement, council leader Carl Smith and Labour group leader Trevor Wainwright, said: “We know that January and February are traditionally a quieter period of the year, which is why we are helping with rent for our market traders while we continue to work on the new covered market.

“Projects up and down the country have been hit by supply-chain issues because of the continuing impact of Covid-19 and we are very sorry that our new market building will open later than hoped, but when it does it will give shoppers a brighter, cleaner, and more spacious market.”

The message to traders, which also acknowledged supply issues, said: "The utilities companies have told us they will not be able to connect gas and water supplies until mid-January at the earliest.

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"Once connections are made work is still required to make services to each unit.

"This is extremely disappointing but totally out of our control."

The rent-free period adds to the help being offered to traders transferring to the new market, which includes interest-free loans for new equipment and increased financial security through long-term leases.

The new covered market will have 26 main stalls, alongside two kiosk stalls and space for pop-up traders.

A delay over doors for the new market had already seen the project moved back.

Last month the owners of Barrie's tea stall, Jimmy and Melanie Wilson, said they would not be moving to the new market space, the third stall not to relocate in the new year.

Mel Wilson has been running Barrie's tea stall for 16 years.

Mel Wilson has been running Barrie's tea stall for 16 years. - Credit: James Weeds