'We've got to move with the times' - Traders hail £3.5m marketplace uplift
- Credit: Archant
Plans for a £3.5m redevelopment of Great Yarmouth’s marketplace have been hailed by the stall vendors who say the town must "move with the times".
Councillors at Great Yarmouth Borough Council voted to approve the "significant" project in September 2020, with work already well underway as the new year rolled in. Leader Carl Smith has previously called the plans a "game changer" for Yarmouth.
Initially, there had been concerns from Historic England about the appearance of the revamped site, but architects redesigned the scheme "to reflect local culture" and the "character of the area".
Jerene Irwin, architect at Chaplin Farrant, said the design was not only "significant" for the town, but would “retain community amenities”.
The new wood and steel structure will be slightly north of the current six-day market's position and home to 30 stall holders.
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Each stall will have its own steel canopy for shelter and security and overall the building will be higher.
Seating and open space for pop-ups and displays are included in the new design.
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To address trader concerns about relocating the nine-month build will be phased with the existing six-day market able to operate while 22 of the units are built just to the north.
Sweet shop stall owner Yasmin Harwood said she was “all for an uplift”.
“The marketplace needs tidying ASAP,” she said. “I’ve been here nine years, and a revamp has been needed for about as long.
“Too much trade is being lost to Gapton. The way I see it there are two options: You move and keep up with the times, or you stay where you are and stop complaining.”
Mick Mann, who has run the Market Cobbler for 25 years, said while the logistics of the move were stressful, he was happy with the new design and very much liked the look of it.
Some traders were also critical of the council's plans to charge stall owners a service fee to facilitate the costs of their move to a new home, but most accepted this as "a necessary evil".