Shopkeepers’ mixed views on new market

Cleveleys street market at the top of Victoria Road West
Cleveleys street market at the top of Victoria Road West
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Shopkeepers in Cleveleys have enjoyed a good summer - but they needed it.

The long and harsh winter put many shops well behind their takings from the same period in 2017.

Jackie Wilson, of Vincents cafe in Cleveleys.

Jackie Wilson, of Vincents cafe in Cleveleys.

Business folk on Victoria Road West all agree the town will always welcome extra footfall, but the setting up of a new street market in the has led to mixed opinions.

Support for the new market could not have been more positive at Vincents cafe on the high street.

Jackie Wilson, boss of the long-established cafe, said: “It’s fantastic, anything like that is good for Cleveleys.

“It definitely needs something to give us a boost and I’m right behind it.

“I think where it is located could be a problem if the weather gets really bad, but it’s a great idea.

“The council needs to advertise it better, though.

“Where are the signs to let people know about it?”

That was certainly not the view of another long-established Cleveleys businessman, Waqar Ahmed.

Waqar has run the Cleveleys Souvenirs shop for around 30 years, selling seaside fare such as summer hats, beachballs, buckets and spades and many novelty gifts.

He said: “No, I’m not happy about this at all.

“The council says it has consulted with us but I have received no letter or contact to ask my opinion, I heard about it through a customer.

“This could harm some of the shops who have to pay a lot of rent - 20 years ago business was great here but now it is a lot harder.”

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At Discount Footwear, Jim Jackson could see the pros and cons.

He said: “It’s going to be an attraction and that is good, it will pull people in.

“But these market traders don’t have to pay rent - they can afford to sell things cheaper and if someone is on that market selling shoes, how do we compete with that?”

Andrea Ashworth, at Pets and Puzzles: “I heard from somewhere that the market traders would not be able to sell anything that clashed with the established shops.

“We pay a heck of a lot in rates here. If someone is undercutting us, that’s not fair.”