Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Castle Market traders given 30 per cent rent discount

A fruit and veg stall at Castle Market
Image caption Market traders produced a 14,000-strong petition objecting to the removal of the discount

Market traders in Sheffield have been given a 30 per cent rent discount after a dispute over increases.

Traders at Castle Market submitted a petition to the formerly Liberal Democrat-run council in March after it announced plans to remove a discount.

Labour, which gained control of the council in May, reviewed the proposal and offered traders a new settlement.

Over 80 traders from the city centre will now receive a backdated discount from April.

The Liberal Democrats had announced plans to remove a 40 per cent discount. After much opposition including a 14,000-name petition, the Labour administration has announced it will give traders the discount for a two-year period or until a new £18m market is completed.

On average a stall at Castle Market would pay a monthly rental fee of about £1,750 without discount; this is now reduced to about £1,350.

'Traders in trouble'

The new market is due to be built on The Moor before 2013. It will hold 200 market stalls.

Image caption The £18m Moor Market should be finished by 2013

Mick Cull, Secretary of the Market Traders Association at Castle Market, said traders were still struggling.

He said: "We hope and pray that we can continue. I know that there are quite a few traders already in trouble.

"We hope the 30 per cent will certainly see people through to a new market."

Labour councillor Bryan Lodge said: "If we hadn't taken action, traders would have gone out of business."

The council has previously said that its long-term plan is to demolish Castle Market and redevelop the Castlegate area, creating parkland around the Castle's remains to the River Don.

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