Traders table a protest to council over market stalls

All smiles when the prototype was unveiled
All smiles when the prototype was unveiled
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New prototype stalls being rolled out on Preston’s open market have been branded as “totally unsuitable” by traders.

The retail stands, designed in collaboration with an architect and the University of Central Lancashire, are to be put on trial with tenants as part of a huge refurbishment of the markets quarter. But even before the stalls have been market-tested, traders have already rejected them and told the council they are too small to operate from.

“When I saw the prototype my first reaction was ‘you’ve got to be having a laugh,’” said one stallholder who asked not to be named. “I wouldn’t be able to work with that. It’s so small, I couldn’t get half of my stuff on it. I’d have more stuff in the van than on the stall.”

Another, who has been standing on the outdoor market for more than 20 years, added: “I’ve spoken to most of the regulars on here and every one of them, without fail, told me they didn’t want the new stalls. Everyone is agreed they’re totally unsuitable. They’re too small and less than half the size of what we’ve got at the moment.

“If these come in, a lot of stallholders will be leaving. We can’t trade from them - we’d be out of business in no time.”

The new stalls comprise three different-sized units which can be arranged in various combinations.

But a third trader said: “It’s a glorified nest of tables. They’re more modern than the trestle tables we’ve got now, but nowhere near what we need.”

Preston Council says traders collaborated on the design during a consultation back in January.

Leader Coun Peter Rankin said: “Hopefully, the trialling of the prototype will be successful and I look forward to hearing the feedback from all involve