Market traders told councillors they fear 24 stalls at the entrance to Shambles Market will be removed by Christmas.
But although the head of Make It York said he “understood there had been an enthusiasm to remove stalls from Jubbergate” – he insisted that this is now “most definitely not going to happen”.
Rupert Harrison, who runs Black Yak, told a City of York Council meeting he has repeatedly been told by Make It York, the city’s destination management organisation, that stalls could be cleared out from Jubbergate.
I’ve been a trader at York market for 24 years.
Removing the stalls from Jubbergate will not only devastate 24 businesses. It will also fatally damage what remains of the rest of the market.
A giant pub
Trader John Mannion, who runs Mannion’s Fruit and Vegetables, added: “Is this area of York to become a giant pub?
“Already tables and chairs are set out in Jubbergate for drinking on Saturday nights in the Shambles Market.”
And Kevin Tuohy, who runs Bags of Style, highlighted the city’s rich history of trading. He said:
As traders we feel that Make It York have demonstrated over the past four years that they don’t really understand trader needs or indeed how to manage and care for our wellbeing.
We as traders seem not to feature in any positive long-term plans. So to be overlooked greatly saddens us.
Cllr Kallum Taylor said it was “regretful” that the situation had got to the point where stallholders had to express their fears at a council meeting, rather than with Make It York directly.
He said: “It does feel quite regretful that it’s got to this point where stall holders don’t know what’s going on.”
But managing director of Make It York Sean Bullick told the meeting that, althought there may have been plans to remove the stalls previously, this is not going to happen. He said:
My understanding, and there may be an element of inaccuracy, is that I think there was, on the part of Make It York, an enthusiasm to remove stalls from Jubbergate for various reasons that I’m not fully cognisant of and the idea was to do that in time for Christmas this year.
I can give you assurance that that is most definitely not going to happen. I and Make It York acknowledge that Shambles is a fantastic city centre asset.
He said the organisation is keen to see “increased investment and development” at the market.
And he added there are plans for upgrades including lighting and Wifi. He said: “There is no suggestion that stalls are going to be removed at any stage. I apologise for any lack of communication.”