Wolverhampton market traders bemoan poor first year at new location

Wolverhampton market traders have blamed management for a poor first year of trading at its new location.

Nearly ten months since the market was opened in Cleveland Street, traders have been left bemused at the lack of improvement. Many have questioned how the £4.9 million figure given by the council was spent.

The market moved from its previous base in Market Square in order to increase in size.

Earl, who owns Caribbean food-based store Earl’s Caribbean Store, would like to see more done to improve the setting of the market.

“If you come here in the week, there’s nobody here, the only day it’s full is Tuesday,” he said.

“I just think it’s down to management, they don’t promote the market, they’ve got paper and radio, why not use that?

“We’ve spoken to management, they already know it all, but they don’t listen, nothing gets done.”

It was moved to accommodate 20 bigger cabins, 48 stalls, canopy covered walkways along with event space and free WIFI.

Wayne, who specialises in animal goods, described the market’s setting as ‘decent’, but believes much more could be done to improve it.

He said: “It’s a nice setting, it’s outdoors, which is probably a bad thing, but at least we’re covered and it keeps everything dry.

“The £4.9 million spent is not at all reflected, the huts didn’t cost them money, so really all they’ve paid for is the flooring.

“It depends on how they calculate the costs; today’s a Saturday and we’ve got ten empty stalls; it’s not run like a business.”

Last July’s move was initially met with optimism, however nine months on and many traders have lost that positive outlook.

Traders said at meetings between managers and representatives from the market, most complaints seem to have fallen on deaf ears and the market continues to be well below expectation.

Owner of a traditional Caribbean cuisine stall Mac believes those in charge of planning and building the new market only had their interest at heart.

“The city needed the new market for sure, but the way they treated it with people and management was not good enough,” he said.

“They don’t advertise, the representatives should play a greater role, they should take more interest in the market.

“They (management) don’t care what happens, all they know at the end of the month is that they are getting paid, but the problem lies here, with the people.”