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'It will be a bad couple of days' - Market traders concerned by move for festival

PUBLISHED: 16:36 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:36 11 September 2019

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

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Disgruntled traders on Great Yarmouth's market have been left frustrated by a council's decision to move their stalls to make way for an arts festival. Businesses on Yarmouth's two-day market will be relocated further north than their usual position on the Market Place from Friday to Sunday as the Out There Festival returns this weekend.

Scenes for previous Out There Festivals. This year's event is taking place over September 14 and 15 with multiple street circus acts, shows and performances going on over both days Picture: David StreetScenes for previous Out There Festivals. This year's event is taking place over September 14 and 15 with multiple street circus acts, shows and performances going on over both days Picture: David Street

Traders believe Great Yarmouth Borough Council's decision could have a detrimental impact on trade but said they are more upset they were not consulted before the proposed move was discussed.

Lenny Gordon, 60, of Gordon Linens, said: "The move isn't going to be good for us because our regulars are used to us being in the same place and might not be able to find us.

"The crowds will follow the festival around but it ends just before our stalls so I can't see the performances in the Market Place benefiting us.

"The most frustrating part of the move is the fact we weren't consulted on this.

Scenes for previous Out There Festivals. This year's event is taking place over September 14 and 15 with multiple street circus acts, shows and performances going on over both days Picture: David StreetScenes for previous Out There Festivals. This year's event is taking place over September 14 and 15 with multiple street circus acts, shows and performances going on over both days Picture: David Street

"We're a mainstay of the town but get overlooked in discussions like this."

Following the proposed move, which was put forward last month to allow festival performances to take place around the market, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Carl Smith, met with traders to try and find a compromise.

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The authority has since offered businesses the opportunity to trade rent-free on the Saturday and Sunday as a gesture of goodwill.

Mr Smith said: "SeaChange Arts is bringing a major performances zone for its acclaimed Out There Festival to the Market Place this weekend.

"With welcome funding through the 'Go Trade' Project, large scale events are being brought to the Market Place to increase footfall and incorporate the Market Place and market into the festival, for the benefit of the market and town centre as a whole.

"While, logistically, it is necessary for the two-day market to operate slightly further north of its usual location in order to accommodate the performances, this is still well within the Market Place and close to the festival action."

Mick Anderson, 64, also runs a business on the two-day market.

"I'm expecting to have a bad couple of days but there's nothing we can do," he said.

"People get use to where we are so it will affect us more than some people would think."

Out There Festival is expected to attract an estimated 50,000 people to the town who will be entertained by a variety of street performances and circus acts.

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