Worksop: Is Worksop Market thriving or declining? - the Guardian investigates

Worksop Market, Bridge Street. Picture: Marie Caley NWGU 29-10-14 Worksop Market MC 3
Worksop Market, Bridge Street. Picture: Marie Caley NWGU 29-10-14 Worksop Market MC 3

Concern is growing amongst some market traders in Worksop following a drop in business in the past year.

Most stallholders on Bridge Street agreed it was in the right location, but others said sales depended on where they were positioned.

It was also said that the market looked busier than it actually was, with people browsing rather than buying.

Danny Maini, who has been selling women’s clothing on the market since April, said: “I have lost all my regular customers. It started very well in April, until the last two weeks in August.”

“My own customers have told me themselves it is because of the slope on the hill, elderly people have no problem getting down it, they just struggle getting back up.”

“They said that parking was difficult, with restrictions on how long you can stay and also problems with disabled parking.”

“They also said that buses no longer come up here. These are all things my own customers have told me.”

“These are my £60 and £70 customers as well.”

“One of the shop owners told me ‘you need to be down there Danny’ meaning down the hill and across the road where it is busier.”

From the Guardian’s investigation, it appears that stalls near the top of the town, towards the Savoy Cinema, were the ones who were most struggling along with Danny.

Jane Thornley, who sells farm produce, said: “People have not got the money to buy. It is a vicious circle. People are looking but not spending. It is sad really. But that is just the way it is going. It is like that everywhere. I am hopeful that it might get better for Christmas.”

Julie Hill, who sells plants and flowers, said: “It is not as good as the council are making out. I don’t do too badly, but not as good as last year. Sales are probably down 30 per cent.”

However not all traders were as disillusioned with business as others. But these were stalls that were positioned in the middle of town, near shops such as Timpsons and Dorothy Perkins.

Stan, who sells women’s handbags, said: “I think it is a success. Trade is down, but the market is good for the town. It is in the right place. The weather can kill it. A new bag shop has just opened in the precinct so that will be competition for me.”

Claire Hallam, who sells pushchairs, said: “I think trade depends on what you are selling. I do well because there is no one like me and because of my cheap prices.

“I don’t think the internet has impacted on my sales. I am 100 per cent happy.”

Following the claims by the stallholders in the town, the Guardian contacted Bassetlaw District Council.

Coun Jo White, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We are proud of Worksop Market. We have excellent traders offering a wide variety and affordable range of goods, from fresh fish, vegetables and meat, to magazines, flowers, schoolwear and tools.”

“This diversity is one of the reasons why the market is performing so well in the region. Our average occupancy rate over the three market days is 90 per cent compared to an average of 68 per cent in the East Midlands.”

“With the busy festive season on the way this is one of the best times to visit the market to get those special gifts.”