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Market traders voice concerns about proposed move for festival

PUBLISHED: 14:12 02 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:12 02 August 2019

Lenny Gordon of Gordon Linens has raised concerns about Great Yarmouth Borough Council's proposals to move the two-day market for the Out There Festival. Picture: Joseph Norton

Lenny Gordon of Gordon Linens has raised concerns about Great Yarmouth Borough Council's proposals to move the two-day market for the Out There Festival. Picture: Joseph Norton

Archant

Traders on Great Yarmouth's market could have to move their stalls to make way for an arts festival performance later on this year.

Out There, a festival of circus and street art, returns to Great Yarmouth on September 14 and 15. Picture: SeaChange ArtsOut There, a festival of circus and street art, returns to Great Yarmouth on September 14 and 15. Picture: SeaChange Arts

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has proposed the relocation of the two-day market during the Out There Festival in September.

Business owners believe the move could have a detrimental impact on trade.

Lenny Gordon, 60, of Gordon Linens, said: "My family have been trading on this market since 1953 and everybody knows where we are.

"I don't see why the festival cannot be moved behind us because it is a big enough draw in itself.

Action from last year's Out There Festival. Picture: SeaChange ArtsAction from last year's Out There Festival. Picture: SeaChange Arts

"Even though we're still on the market our customers will think we're not around because we won't be in our usual position.

"I've not decided if I'll set up my stall during the festival because I don't know how beneficial it will be."

The council has proposed to move the two-day market stalls further north of their normal position on the market on the Saturday of the festival to accommodate a performance zone for Out There, which is on September 14 and 15. Thousands of residents enjoyed breathtaking circus stunts and multicoloured dance spectacles at last year's event organised by SeaChange Arts.

Leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Carl Smith, believes traders will benefit from the increase in footfall on the market but said he was aware of their worries.

The Bivouac250 performing at the Out There Festival last year. Pictures: JMA PhotographyThe Bivouac250 performing at the Out There Festival last year. Pictures: JMA Photography

"I have met personally with traders to seek to understand concerns and whether any steps can be taken to allay those in liaison with SeaChange Arts," he said.

Keith Barber, of Shoe Supplies, said he was unsure how the move would affect his business.

Mr Barber said: "Any move is a bit concerning but I'm not particularly worried.

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"Anything which will bring in more people to the town can only be a good thing."

Talks between Great Yarmouth Borough Council, SeaChange Arts and market traders are ongoing to see if a compromise can be found.

Tim Tracey, producer and production manager at SeaChange Arts, said he hopes the Out There Festival will be a great event for everybody.

He said: "We are really excited we have been able to extend our performance in the market place and I am sure it will be a fantastic event."

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