Hull council has made this 'urgent' plea after Walton Street Market shock closure

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 11 Jun 2018

Hull City Council hope to have Walton Street Market "up and running within the next few weeks" despite announcing its shock closure earlier this week.

The local authority has now launched an "urgent" appeal to find a new operator which will mean it can restart this month.

Trading was ceased due to "severe financial difficulties" faced by its operators but market traders have now been given new hope that they could soon be able to return.

The council says it is "as disappointed as everyone else" that it had to take the step to end Town and Country Market's operating license but is now aiming to reinstate the market as soon as possible.

A number of businesses and individuals have already approached the local authority with offers to run the market and they have now set a one-week deadline to other interested parties if they are interested in taking it on.

In a statement, Cllr Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment, said: “We urge any potential operators to come and speak to us about the running of the market.

"We hope that the market can be up and running within the next few weeks. We are extremely keen to bring this vibrant and thriving venture back to Hull.

Traders found this sign stuck to the gate at Walton Street Market

“We were as disappointed as everyone else that the actions of the previous operator led to the market ceasing trade and our focus now is on finding someone to fill the gap it has left.

"We are very concerned for the welfare of the traders affected by this, as well as the many shoppers who love their market and we want to give them it back as soon as possible.”

Walton Street car park, where the market was held, is also the venue for the hugely popular Hull Fair each October leading to fears that the event could be cancelled.

However, organisers have been quick to reassure the city the calendar highlight will still be going ahead as usual. Traders and punters were notified of the decision to stop the market via a notice put up near the site.

A busy Walton Street market in 2006

The message, written by Town and Country Market, who operate the market on behalf of Hull City Council, said: "We have received notice from our landlord that they no longer want us to operate Walton Street Market, which they are entitled to do under the terms of our lease agreement.

"Over the last two weeks we have been in discussions to change this position but unfortunately we have not been successful in doing so.

"With regret, the last day of market operations will be Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

"We are very sorry for the short notice we have been able to give to you and we would like to thank all traders for operating here and customers for shopping here over the years."

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