Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Market forces

Wrexham has been known as a market town since the Middle Ages and its remaining markets remain important to the town's economic wellbeing.
That's why Plaid councillors Marc Jones and Carrie Harper have been delighted to try to help traders during these difficult economic times.
There are three markets in Wrexham. The Butchers' Market is a lovely covered Victorian building with a beautiful entrance from the High Street and, as the name suggests, an emphasis on quality local food. It also has an antiques shop and other hidden treasures.
The cosy and intimate General Market next door was, until the war, known as the Butter Market but rationing put paid to that speciality. It now houses a diverse mix of traders including the long-established Anwar's clothes stall. This too is in a beautiful red-brick Victorian building.
The largest market is the People's Market, which has been at its current site on Chester St for 20 years, sells a wide variety of goods and is home to the town's only Welsh-language specialist store, Siop y Siswrn.
The development of Eagles Meadow means that the markets are now only a stone's throw from the new shopping centre and provide a natural and covered link from the town's main shopping streets to Eagles Meadow. Traders have also benefitted from a parking agreement with the new shopping centre and are actively marketing themselves as being 45 seconds from Eagles Meadow on foot!
Wrexham without its markets is unthinkable and that's why Plaid councillors will continue to work with the traders and Wrexham Council's market team to improve the markets with better publicity, marketing and signage.


Be Real said...

The problem with Wrexham's markets is that the quality and price of goods can often be matched better elsewhere by retailers such as TJ Hughes, TK Max etc. The supermarkets are also becoming leaders in providing a range of products under one roof.

The best thing Wrexham can do is modernise the Peoples market to encourage more people of all ages to use them. The Butter market could be transformed into a high quality specialist food outlet.

The Welsh Assembly Government and Wrexham Council need to work up a proposal to enhance the existing markets which cannot remain in their current format.

Young people are not attracted by markets and that is their greatest challenge.

Dba said...

With regards to rents, a few people i no have said there have been 3 ret increases in less than a year, and was complaining the council are not helping them,

Thank you for your e-mail. You asked about rent increases and I can
give you information about the average rent per square metre paid in the
markets and how it has changed during this financial year: February 2009
= £ 123.03 /m per annum and November 2009 = £ 117.27 / m per annum. As
you can see, rents have declined slightly this year, partly as a result
of temporary rent concessions granted to new tenants entering the
market. The recession has resulted in increased 'tenant churn', with
more businesses coming and going. This in turn results in more new
tenants (as a proportion of total tenants) who may be paying low initial
start-up rents, leading to a lower average rent figure.
The Council's own shops (we have 24) are fully let at present. We have
one shop which is due to become vacant, and if you want the details of
this, please contact Claire Jones. We also have a list of shops that
are privately owned, available to rent, and if you would like details of
these properties, telephone 366366. We have an action plan for the town
centre which seeks to promote trade generally for the benefit of all
commercial operators but we have no control over privately owned shops.

I can explain what we have done in response to the recession on the
retail front. All our commercial properties are subject to periodic rent
review. At the time the recession took hold we were engaged in a
programme of rent reviews on about 40 commercial properties. We
cancelled the rent review programme. When we have a prospective new
tenant, the terms we negotiate reflect current market conditions, so the
rent concessions on offer to assist in a new business start-up now are
generally more advantageous than they were say 18 months ago. Sometimes
we are approached by someone who has no track record in business, with
an idea that is untested. In these situations we may offer a unit at a
favourable rent on a fixed term licence. This gives the applicant an
opportunity to try out the idea without the burden of a long-term
financial commitment. It also gives him / her the opportunity to
establish a good payment record that will in turn lead to the offer of a
tenancy with security of tenure, if the business is a success. In this
way we can help new businesses to establish and grow.
We always try to fill our empty units as soon as we can, and when (as
now) we have an over-supply of empty space we can offer units rent free
on a temporary basis to charities, provided their goods for sale do not
compete with our other tenants. We try to help our existing tenants, if
they are in difficulty. We can offer business advice, and may offer
financial assistance if it is justified.

The Council itself is not immune from the financial pressures of the
recession. Our own income has dropped, this in turn has put pressure on
our budgets, and limited the scope for offering financial concessions.
So we must try to strike a balance, having regard to all these pressures
and that means we cannot offer across the board rent concessions to all
our commercial tenants. I hope that explains the challenge we have and
how we are trying to tackle it and I hope it answers your question.

If you have an interest in taking a retail unit, can I suggest that you
contact our commercial surveyor Claire Jones on 297258.

Stephen Bayley.

Dba said...

Again the letter i send to wrexham council asked how are you helping the shop keepers in wrexham and the rise in rents, Mr Bayley avoided the questione totally, the email recived is mainly for new tenants of shops,