Council looks to please tenants after drop in footfall
Outside traders at one of Leeds’ most historic city markets are to receive a 20 per cent rent cut in 2015 as the council aim to please some of its frustrated tenants.
As part of proposals given the go-ahead this month, all traders with a regular licence to trade at Leeds Kirkgate Open Market will be granted the significant reduction in their base rent by Leeds City Council from 1st January 2015 until 31st December 2015.
This follows a move by the council to approve in September 2014, a 20 per cent decrease in rent to indoor tenants in order to compensate for trading conditions during a substantial £12.3m refurbishment programme at the market which is set to begin early next year.
This assistance will mean that all outdoor traders with a regular licence, and all indoor tenants, are now being given extra support with their rents by the council and help ensure that Kirkgate Market continues to be the home for a wide range of independent businesses and services.
Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for transport and the economy said: “We realise that during our substantial £12.3m refurbishment programme of Leeds Kirkgate Market there may be some disruption to both businesses and customers.
“This is why we have now taken the decision to offer outside traders a 20 per cent reduction in their base rents.
“This will mean that regular traders at Kirkgate indoor and outdoor markets can now benefit from a cut in their rent from the council, which is a signal of our continued commitment to support businesses at Kirkgate Market during this exciting time of change.”
The development of the Victorian Quarter in Leeds has hampered the productivity of Kirkgate Market in recent months with some trader claiming to have lost up to 70 per cent of their custom.
Speaking previously to the Asian Express newspaper, indoor tenant, Mr Bhardwaj, said the rent cuts are ‘ridiculous’.
“What they (Leeds City Council) have done to the market and what they are offering in this rent reduction is ridiculous,” he said.
“They were warned well in advance that this would happen but they didn’t listen and now they are just trying to whitewash it all by giving us 20 per cent off.
“We’ve lost so much business because people just don’t come in here anymore.”