'We'll survive' - Town market traders hopeful as £5.3m work begins

Leonard Gordon smiling in front of towels for sale.

Leonard Gordon enjoys the market's new location, but would like to know where the traders will ultimately end up. - Credit: James Weeds

Traders on Great Yarmouth's historic market say they are hopeful for the future as business resumes and a £4.6m redevelopment project gets under way.

The town's two day market has returned for Wednesdays and Saturdays, but in a new location.

Due to ongoing redevelopment works in the town centre, the regular pitch for market stalls is being dug up to make way for the new indoor market after Great Yarmouth Borough Council secured government funding for the project.

Traders are now located in the square between the old Palmers unit and the entrance to Market Gates.

Yarmouth market place dug up.

The former space for market stalls is currently being developed. - Credit: James Weeds

Leonard Gordon, 63, currently runs Gordon's linen stall. He said: "We really appreciate the fact that the council is trying to make things work.

"It would be nice to know what the council's vision for market traders is though.

"Not knowing where we're going to end up after the redevelopment is hard.

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"They say you're going to be alright, but is there some sort of masterplan, because no one seems to know."

Paul and Maria Proto at work.

Paul and Maria Proto working on the 'MRP Gifts' stall. - Credit: James Weeds

Mr Gordon, who has been working on the market since he was a child, spoke about resuming business: "It's not just about taking money.

"It's quite a social thing to do. Which is nice for everyone. People have been stuck inside for a long time now."

Paul Proto in front of his artificial flower stall.

Paul Proto, who runs the 'MRP Gifts' stall, said: "It's been a long winter off." - Credit: James Weeds

After a "long winter off," Paul Proto resumed business last Wednesday.

Mr Proto, who owns an artificial flower pitch, as well as ladies underwear stall, said: "Business has been a bit slow, but I think that's the town in general.

"Until the visitors come back, business is okay, but not what it should be."

Maria Proto in front of an underwear stall.

Maria Proto, who runs the 'Maria's Knickers' stall on the market. - Credit: James Weeds

Adam Roche, owner of Adamskee Jewellery, also returned to the market last Wednesday.

"Last week was really nice because everyone was really pleased to see us back," Mr Roche said. "We were a little bit busier than normal, but it is quite a difficult town to make a living in.

Adam Roche and Keely Hamilton at their stall on the market.

Adam Roche and Keely Hamilton run the Adamskee Jewellery stall. - Credit: James Weeds

Mr Roche, who is a market "new boy" of 14 years, agreed with Mr Proto: "I'm hoping this summer is going to be really good.

"Hopefully, as people won't be able to go abroad as much, people will come to us seaside resorts."

Mr Roche concluded with a positive attitude: "We'll survive. We'll fight again another day."