Traders' fury at impending market closure in Newton Aycliffe

Traders' fury at impending market closure in Newton Aycliffe

Newton Aycliffe Shopping Centre owners have terminated an agreement with traders to run a weekly market on Tuesdays. Market traders have been given one month’s notice. The market has been running for more than 30 years

Newton Aycliffe Shopping Centre owners have terminated an agreement with traders to run a weekly market on Tuesdays. Market traders have been given one month’s notice. The market has been running for more than 30 years

Newton Aycliffe Shopping Centre owners have terminated an agreement with traders to run a weekly market on Tuesdays. Market traders have been given one month’s notice. The market has been running for more than 30 years

The market in busier days

Newton Aycliffe Shopping Centre owners have terminated an agreement with traders to run a weekly market on Tuesdays. Market traders have been given one month’s notice. The market has been running for more than 30 years

Mary Cummins and Julie Laverick market traders on their recycled children's clothes and toy stall. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Mandy Owen has been running a flower and plant stall on Newton Aycliffe Market since 1983 and is devastated it is closingPic SARAH CALDECOTT (6180227)

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by

A DECISION to ban market stalls from a revamped town centre has been branded a “death wish” by traders and shoppers.

Stallholders at Newton Aycliffe’s weekly market were given one months notice of its impending closure after town centre owners, Freshwater, terminated its agreement with the licence holder, Great Aycliffe Town Council.

The move has been fiercely criticised by members of Newton Aycliffe Market Traders’ Co-operative, who claim the closure will have a devastating impact on their livelihoods and the town centre in general.

Freshwater has not confirmed the reason for the decision to The Northern Echo, but traders said they have been led to believe the company regards the stalls as not good enough for the refurbished shopping area.

Neil Herring, who has been selling sweets and eggs at the market for nine years, said: “It is a disgrace. The market has been here nearly 40 years and brings people in from other towns. I am likely to lose around £200 a week.”

Traditionally, the Tuesday market was located in the heart of the shopping centre but traders were shifted to a car park on Greenwell Road last year due to the second phase of a multi-million pound revamp.

The project saw the unsightly concrete ramp and shop canopies removed, a spiral staircase installed and the introduction of new paving, seating and shrubbery.

Next month, Churchill House and the adjoining shops, in front of which the remaining market stalls now trade, is due to be demolished.

Fruit and vegetable seller Derrick Hill said: “We lost a lot of trade during the refurbishment but we hung on in, as we thought we would get to return to the centre. This has come as a shock.”

Regular market-goer Ric Hargreaves, from Newton Aycliffe, said: “I believe the powers that be have a death wish on this town.

“It is like they have given us a new toy but they won’t let us play with it."

Great Aycliffe Town Council said it had no choice but to give notice to the traders, as despite efforts to identify another site for the market, there is nothing suitable.

Freshwater declined to comment.

The last market will be held on Tuesday, May 27.

Comments (3)

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7:40am Wed 14 May 14

Mr A says...

Well we live in Sedgefield and ONLY come over on Market Day. We don't spend a fortune say £50 - £100 a week but as far as I am concerned Great Aycliffe Town Council has just given me two fingers for my troubles. We wont be back.

Good luck to all the small businesses who have supplied us over the past three decades but I suppose we'll just go where it's more customer friendly.
Well we live in Sedgefield and ONLY come over on Market Day. We don't spend a fortune say £50 - £100 a week but as far as I am concerned Great Aycliffe Town Council has just given me two fingers for my troubles. We wont be back. Good luck to all the small businesses who have supplied us over the past three decades but I suppose we'll just go where it's more customer friendly. Mr A
  • Score: 22

2:25pm Wed 14 May 14

shop steward says...

Its not the Town council who wanted to close the market, its Freshwater, the town centre owners, they do not want to have a market in their posh new centre, they wont discuss the issue and as this article states...freshwater were unavailable for comment....that one line speaks volumes !!
Its not the Town council who wanted to close the market, its Freshwater, the town centre owners, they do not want to have a market in their posh new centre, they wont discuss the issue and as this article states...freshwater were unavailable for comment....that one line speaks volumes !! shop steward
  • Score: 7

9:03pm Wed 14 May 14

pxatkins says...

I can understand Freshwater's decision. This was never Covent Garden, just pound store tat on scruffy stalls that would drag the Town Centre back where it was before the refurbishment. Sorry for the traders though, that was very short notice.
I can understand Freshwater's decision. This was never Covent Garden, just pound store tat on scruffy stalls that would drag the Town Centre back where it was before the refurbishment. Sorry for the traders though, that was very short notice. pxatkins
  • Score: -2

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