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Traders' fears over stalls relocation in £30m plan

Walsall | News | Published:

Fears that Walsall Market could be split in two have emerged as discussions over finding a new home for some of the stalls forge ahead.

Fears that Walsall Market could be split in two have emerged as discussions over finding a new home for some of the stalls forge ahead.

Developers plan on starting work on the £30 million revamp of the Old Square Shopping Centre, creating a brand new Primark and Co-op, in the coming months.

Some nearby market stalls will have to relocate and talks are being held between Walsall Council and traders. It is believed possible locations could include the market's previous pitch in Digbeth or Lower Hall Lane.

Chairman of the Market Traders Association, Tony Larner, believes around a third of the 100 stalls may be affected.

The uncertainty had prompted fears that the market, which is used by hundreds of traders, could become "disjointed" and hit stallholders' business.

Mr Larner said: "I would be concerned if the market gets cut in half. The traders are very concerned. It took time for them to settle when they moved the last time."

Karen Sands, aged 50, of Cheslyn Hay, runs a fish stall and her family has been on the market for 100 years.

"The area has needed this development for a long time but while they are doing this we don't know what's going to happen to us," she said.

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"We don't want to see the market disjointed. We need to be visible and easily accessible for customers."

At least 160 jobs are expected to be created with Primark and the Co-op moving into the town centre complex as well as Debenhams getting an overhaul.

Regeneration chief Councillor Adrian Andrew said some of the market stalls would have to move or would otherwise face being in the midst of a building site.

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