Demise of Queensgate market is so depressing
Joan Bakewell, TV presenter Madoc, actress, Ellen Barkin, actress, Berry, actor, Jimmy Osmond, singer, Martin Lawrence, actor, Max Beesley, actor
Nick Pickard, actor, Claire Foy, ON a rare visit to Queensgate market I was amazed at the number of empty stalls compared to my last visit.
There were very few people in the market. It was cold, unappealing and the stall holders seemed to be just hanging around in the hope of customers. Most were wrapped up to keep warm. It is clear the market is dying. Is this because markets have “had their day” as we have become conditioned to buying what we need from large stores out of town centres where parking is free?
Or should the council be trying to rejuvenate the market, even if it is the last throw of the dice?
Talking to a couple of stallholders they would like to see some reduction in their rents, because all that seems to happen is rents are increased and more stallholders then go out of business and then rents are increased again and so more stallholders leave.
Perhaps new businesses could be attracted with a bit of imagination by (eg) giving some form of rent concessions in say the first 12 months and a scheme to have an element of free or cheaper parking.
What will not help is the display of some of the art work of students at one end of the market. In no way will this bring customers into the market to spend money.
It would be a great shame if a large town centre retail outlet just drifted into oblivion and then became an eyesore. MANY farmers are currently facing fodder shortages and flooding – serious problems that impact on their ability to feed animals and plant crops.
In some regions, persistent and heavy rains have followed on swiftly from extreme snowfalls – and to make matters worse, the current weatherrelated problems come whilst many are in the midst of lambing and calving.
The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) has been around since 1860 and is farming’s oldest and largest welfare charity.
In 2017, we gave out grants of close to £2 million to people of all ages in financial need.
We have welfare officers across England and Wales who understand the current difficulties.
Our welfare officer for Northumberland and Durham, for example, recently reported that many people in his area had lost sheep in snow drifts and were dreading the prospect of lambing.
Numbers are likely to be down, which will have a knockon effect later in the year when they come to sell their stock.
It’s been a long, wet winter and the grass hasn’t started to grow yet.
That means there could be extra feed costs, an expense farmers wouldn’t normally expect to have at this time of year.
We know from our welfare team on the ground that many in the industry – from different sectors and in various parts of the UK – are anxious about the effects of weather-related problems.
During a crisis, RABI can help those in financial hardship by providing grants for immediate domestic and household expenses.
While we cannot help specifically with business costs, if the harsh winter has left you, or someone you know who works in farming, unable to pay household bills please call our confidential Freephone Helpline number 0808 281 9490.