Traders have told of their devastation as they moved out of South Shore’s defunct New Market.
The market, which has been open on Waterloo Road for 35 years, has been forced to close after landlords In Shops Centre Ltd went bankrupt.
More than 20 stall holders were given seven days notice to vacate the premises, seeing many lose their livelihoods and saying they will have to claim benefits to make ends meet.
Jazz Chauhan, who ran her shoe repair and key cutting business since New Market opened in the late 70s, said: “I’m devastated and customers are gutted. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet.
“How could we be expected to move a business in one week?”
A number of the traders said they were yet to find new premises, leaving them with stock and shop fixtures to move into storage or sell at cut price.
Market manager Donna Cocker said she will be forced to claim benefits after losing her livelihood.
She added: “It was a bolt from the blue. People are saying this is the worst thing that can happen to South Shore, it’s hit everyone in the community.”
Some traders left shop fixtures and fittings behind in the market hall, saying they hadn’t had enough time to find storage space for it along with stock since they were notified of the closure on January 10.
Natalie Harter, who ran Gelicious Nails and Gelicious Baskets and Gifts for six months, said: “It’s everyone’s livelihoods, I’m gutted.”
David Clewes, who ran a menswear stall in the market for 26 years, said: “For a lot of people there’s nowhere else to go, it could be the end for some.”
Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has offered his support to traders affected by the closure.
Week notice as landlords go bankrupt
Traders in the market hall were sent a letter on January 10 notifying them landlords In Shops Centres Limited would cease trading on January 17, and asking them to vacate their stalls.
A statement released by In Shops Centres Ltd said: “Due to the difficult economic climate the company and its subsidiary will cease to trade.
As costs continued to rise and income steadily reduced, the regrettable decision was made to cease trading.”