Leeds City Council u-turn over farmer’s market

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The farmer’s market in Leeds is temporarily moving back to Briggate after complaints from traders and customers when it was re-located.

Such is the opposition to holding the twice monthly market at Kirkgate that Leeds City Council are conducting a review into the decision.

While that is being carried out, this month’s markets planned for Sunday and December 11 and 18 will be held at Briggate, where they have traded with great success for the last four years.

In a letter to traders, Sue Burgess, head of markets, said: “Our decision to relocate the market to Kirkgate was made in good faith for a number of reasons.

“It is already clear that Farmers and Craft Market traders are concerned about the pre-Christmas period and want the market to return to Briggate whilst the review is being undertaken.”

The u-turn follows objections from traders, articles in the Yorkshire Evening Post and a public stance from retail giant John Lewis hitting back at claims it wanted the market moved back to Kirkgate.

Several traders had boycotted the market due to lack of footfall and the numbers of traders and customers had dwindled so much that the last market was cancelled.

The reprieve has been welcomed by traders who say they will be back at Briggate in the all important festive run-up.

Former solicitor, Peter Olley runs Whole Hog Sausages, said: “We rely on the income that we derive from Christmas to get us through to Easter.

“Something must have triggered it at a higher level but it has to be welcomed. It is common sense. Within three weeks it had completely collapsed.”

The council added it is looking at other locations in the city for the long-term future of it.

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