Traders battling to save Preston’s Indoor Market from demolition have amassed a 2,000-strong petition and vowed: We will not be moved!
Stallholders have launched a battle against proposals to demolish their current home to make way for a cinema and move them to the outdoor covered fish market, with some relocated into the streets.
They launched a petition calling on Preston Council to scrap the plan and instead refurbish their current home, which they claim has now been signed by more than 2,000 people.
Ellen Young, 65, who runs Matthew Wade Banana King, said: “The petition has finished and we have got more than enough signatures for it to be debated at a Preston Council meeting.
“We needed 1,350 and I know we have more than 2,000 now. The response has been fantastic.”
Meanwhile, traders have received letters asking them what their requirements are for trading outside.
But a meeting of the tenants’ association agreed it would not negotiate on such a move.
She said: “We decided we were not filling it in, what we are going to do is sign a statement which says ‘We the understated do not wish to take part in these discussions.
“‘We wish to stay where we are and have the market hall refurbished’. There was a show of hands at the meeting and it was unanimous.”
Preston Council leader Peter Rankin said the council cannot afford to spend £6m needed to renovate the building which has been neglected over the past decade.
He said: “The condition of the building and car park are as a result of being neglected for over a decade, for understandable reasons because it was within the Tithebarn programme, that it would be demolished.
“We are trying to phase the Tithebarn scheme by moving traders into a much better facility we hope, all be it, it will be a smaller facility than they have now.
“We cannot afford the expenditure which will be coming over the next few years.”
He said he would meet the markets traders’ association next month, adding a ‘stalemate’ must be avoided.