Wolverhampton’s Market Square was today described as “a disappointment” by the mayor who opened it in a blaze of glory eight years ago.
Councillor John Rowley admitted the city council created the square without any idea of what to do with it.
Shop units in the £11.5million development remain empty and a question mark continues to hang over the future of the city’s market.
While other towns and cities use their market squares for big events and concerts, Wolverhampton’s has remained empty.
The former mayor, who opened the development with Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott in 2004, said: “We created a large market place but never really decided what we wanted to do with it.
“We missed the opportunity to have a big screen on the square. We need to make more use of it. I feel it is a disappointment.”
Market traders today called for free parking to be introduced in an effort to bring in more people.
Wolverhampton Council says it wants to redevelop the market to attract more visitors, but needs private investment to make the plan a reality.