The street market launched at the sea end of Terminus Road to breathe new life into the often neglected stretch has been moved down towards the town centre in a bid to appease the stall holders.
The market, which was two years in the planning, has been held at the top end for the last 10 weeks but dwindling trader numbers have forced organisers to up sticks and move the plots to the pedestrian area outside TJ Hughes.
Stall holders who braved the wet weather for Wednesday’s market in the new location reacted positively to the change and Tim Tradewell, who has organised the market, says some sellers who had signalled their intent to ditch the market have said the new plots have encouraged them to stay put.
However, the businesses at the seafront end of Terminus Road believe they have been abandoned and that the whole point of the market was to help them through troubled times.
A petition asking for the market to remain in its original position has been signed by 35 of 37 local businesses and a host of traders told the Herald they were angry that what had been sold to them as a boost for what is traditionally a quiet area is now being used to add footfall to the already bustling town centre site.
Jimmy Keeley, who runs a gift shop, was one of those who felt let down.
He said, “This market was meant to bring the footfall down to this end of Terminus Road – now it is going to an area which is already busy.”
Mr Tradewell however said the decision was a no-brainer.
“As the tourist season ended our stall holders were telling us there was not enough footfall for them to continue.
“Basically, we had to take the decision to move it to keep the market going or it would be lost to everyone.”