“Work with us” - that’s the message from Preston Council to frustrated market traders, who say a second meeting with architects about the Market Hall’s future has left them no wiser.
Business owners said the meeting on Wednesday night did little to allay worries many of them could be forced outside. But council chiefs said plans are still in early stages and consultation meetings are not designed to offer quick answers.
Norman Young, whose whose family runs the Banana King (Matthew Wade Ltd) business, said: “I don’t the meeting got us anywhere. Again, there have been no assurances - the council have said that we could all be inside, or we could all be outside.
“I don’t think anyone’s got a clear idea of how much there is to spend on a new building, and what can be done.”
He added: “The architects have been good at listening and asking what we want. The first thing we told them is we want four walls around us. We want to know now if we’re going to be put outside, because if we are, we’ll start looking elsewhere.”
Michael Clarke of WB Clarke and Sons butchers said: “Tenants are as hard to come by as customers, and everybody is beginning to lose patience. The longer the vagueness continues, the more people will start to look to relocate their businesses, and the council are in danger of creating a white elephant that they can’t fill.”
Mick Lovatt, corporate director of environment, said: “Officers from the Council met with representatives from the Market Traders Association to discuss the consultation meetings that will take place with traders.
“This was a very informative meeting and a plan was agreed on a way to move forward. We are asking the tr