Traders hit out over re-location of busy market

Thriving: The Farmers market when it was on Briggate

Thriving: The Farmers market when it was on Briggate

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Leeds Farmers’ market stallholders have hit out after the city council re-located the popular attraction – sparking fears they will miss out on trade.

For four years the market has happily operated on Briggate in the city centre but it has now been moved to Kirkgate, with traders claiming the decision was due to bad weather.

At Briggate, they said, it was a busy and successful venture but following last weekend’s re-location, some traders reported not even taking enough money to cover the £35 stall hire cost.

Chris Holmes, 50, is a beekeeper who sells ‘Stickeys’ honey from his 100 colonies.

He said: “It was a wonderful, bustling city market and a real asset to Leeds. The footfall at Briggate was higher and the type of product we have was popular there.

“The only reason they have given is they had to move because it is windy but that is no reason.”

On the first and third Sunday of the month around 40 stalls and independent traders set up to sell locally produced good from honey to hand-made chocolates, cheese, meats and pies.

Mr Holmes, of Flockton, said that for him and most other stall holders markets such as these are the only outlet for selling their goods.

He added: “I produce five tonnes of honey per year.

“For every jar I produce there is a story, like I got stung, or made the colony and know when it was made, and people are buying into that when they attend these markets.”

He and other traders also have concerns over the cleanliness of the Kirkgate area due to rough sleepers and clubs turning out in the early hours.

Coun Jonathan Pryor, chair of the markets board said: “Moving from Briggate to the refreshed outdoor area in Kirkgate will improve conditions for traders and customers alike and places the market on the doorstep of Victoria Gate. Hopefully we will see the continued growth of this popular market.”

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