Traders boycotting Leeds farmer’s market

BUSTLING: The farmers market when it was held in Briggate.
BUSTLING: The farmers market when it was held in Briggate.
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The future of the popular Leeds farmer’s market is in doubt as traders say they are being driven away by the council.

Since the relocation of the Sunday market three weeks ago back to Kirkgate, stall holders say they are losing customers and money and having to set up at other markets as far away as Manchester.

The Yorkshire Evening Post understands that out of the 40 stalls that used to trade regularly at Briggate, its home for the last four years, only ten are prepared to continue back at Kirkgate - potentially making the market unviable.

Mario Olianas is an Italian cheesemaker based in Leeds and sells his own home-made cheese plus Italian donuts but lost £600 on the first day back at Kirkgate so now trades in Manchester.

He said: “In Manchester I can make a living and am appreciated.

“The market is on the main street and well advertised.

“At Kirkgate, there was no advertising, just a couple of tweets but nothing involved.

“On that first day I was put on a pitch that smelled of urine and in direct sunlight. I had to throw away cheese that was damaged and the cream for the donuts. I lost £600 that day.”

Also packing up for the last time after ten years of trading are Olley and Olley, a solictor huband and wife duo who make sausages which have featured on television shows.

Peter Olley said: “The first market at Kirkgate was the busiest day in Leeds for along time with John Lewis.

“Briggate was rammed but there was nobody at the market.

“We sort of knew this was coming but have tried to find ways of mitigating the problem because we were heavily reliant on the market.”

The market takes place on the first and third Sunday of the month.

A council spokesperson said the authority was working with trader’s on a potential way forward.

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