Wales

Wrexham market traders offered rent discount over disruption

Ty Pawb arts and cultural centre, Wrexham Image copyright Wrexham County Borough Council
Image caption The market was revamped to boost the fortunes of Wrexham town centre

Traders unhappy at disruption from building work at a market have been offered a further 30% rent discount.

The row in Wrexham has marred the £4.5m revamp of the former People's Market into an arts and cultural centre.

It officially reopened in April but stallholders were angry construction work was still going on in June.

Wrexham council accepted there was an impact and offered the reduction for that period on top of a 20% concession. Traders are considering the proposal.

Despite the celebrations for the newly-named Ty Pawb, Welsh for "everybody's house", 10 traders sent an email to council leader Mark Pritchard branding the project "a health and safety nightmare".

One stallholder had described the premises as a "building site", with customers driven away by noise and trailing wires.

Another trader said a lack of internet for two months meant they could not take card payments or sell anything online.

The row came to a head in August, when stallholders claimed they were given two days' notice to sign contracts or face eviction, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Following a meeting between the two sides, the council has now offered a 30% discount on rent for April to June, on top of an existing 20% concession for the first year following refurbishment.

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Closed until further notice - a coffee shop is relocating to its previous premises in the town

In a letter, an officer said the overrunning building work had "impacted on trading conditions for those in occupation at that time".

As traders consider the offer, one business - the Blank Canvas coffee shop - has quit the market to return to its previous premises in the town.

"We believe that the Ty Pawb site will overcome its challenges but sadly just not quick enough for us to be able to stay," it said.

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