Traders rally with meeting to save ailing Wednesfield Market
Traders battling to save Wednesfield Market have joined forces with politicians to make it a more attractive place to visit.
Wednesfield Market, situated on the High Street, has been a regular fixture in the area for decades – for many years sited on land now occupied by the Woodhouse Fold car park – adjacent to Alfred Squire Road.
However, following a recent decline in trade, with as few as three stallholders turning out at the site’s 26 pitches on some days, business owners in the area have made a concerted effort to encourage people to pull together and get the High Street and market back on its feet.
Jay Baso, owner and manager of Elegant Frames and Mirrors in Lichfield Road, called a meeting for all traders in the village to have their say on how best to boost the local economy.
“This is about making Wednesfield a better place to shop and trade for all of us. We have a real community spirit here and want to do everything we can to listen to people’s concerns and make this a positive step forward for everyone,” he said.
The meeting was also attended by constituency MP Jane Stevenson, Wednesfield South councillors Greg Brackenridge and Jacqui Coogan, and the council’s cabinet member for city environment, Councillor Steve Evans, who all pledged their support for traders in the village.
“We are not unaware of the issues faced by the traders here in Wednesfield,” said Councillor Evans. “One of the big issues that has been raised is parking restrictions. And we’re happy to look at limiting it to a minimum of three hours in car parks and parking bays on the High Street within the limited resources we have.”
Councillor Evans added that any excess time could mean a charge of £1 per hour, which traders agreed was acceptable with an overall view to increasing visitor numbers in the High Street.
Business owner Nicola Thompson, who runs Lavandula Blu holistics in Lichfield Road, called on people struggling to find employment to consider becoming a market trader in the village.
“If anyone has been made redundant recently, is struggling to find employment or is sick of working for someone else, then a pitch on our market is absolutely without doubt the way to go in my opinion,” she said.
“There are a lot of positives to it – the pitch is there waiting for you so there is no setting up, rents average around £18 a day, there is electricity included on some – if not all – pitches and you only work a few days a week.”
Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson added: “I think everyone here is doing a brilliant job to rally together. Wednesfield has enormous potential and I will continue to do everything I can to work with our Government on improving matters.”
A follow-up meeting for traders has been called in early March.
City councillors agreed to keep local traders updated on the results of their investigations.