Market traders settle dispute

LEIGH’S market traders have accepted the council’s “breakthrough” 15 per cent reduction in their rental charge through to 2014.

The decision, which flies in the face of their colleagues in Wigan Indoor Market who are to fight on for a bigger cut, is the first time town hall chiefs have ever offered a reduction of this size.

Leigh stall holders agreed unanimously to the offer by the council, having previously accepted the council’s offer of a 10 per cent drop and have expressed delight at the offer of an additional five per cent reduction.

In addition, the council has offered to reduce the Licence notice period from 56 days to 28 days.

Chairman of Leigh Market Traders Association John Doherty said: “Leigh traders have agreed to the offer made by Wigan Council. The terms of the offer go some ways to cushion the burgeoning cash expenses which traders are experiencing in Leigh Market.

“While we appreciate that others in the borough might be experiencing different trading conditions we feel it is time to consolidate our position and move on to other issues which affect Leigh Market. “

Deputy Leader of Wigan Council and cabinet member for economic regeneration Coun David Molyneux said: “Wigan Council is committed to promoting a sustainable future for the borough’s markets.

“We have not increased market rents since 2007.

“We look forward to continuing working closely with the traders in Leigh and hope this reduction helps support them through a difficult period and they continue to go from strength to strength.”

This latest concession is in addition to the range of other initiatives the council has put in place to support the retail sector. The council’s Town Centre Management Team and the markets team have facilitated closer collaboration with partners such as the Spinning Gate shopping centre, the new Tesco store, Cineworld cinema on the Loom and Leigh Sports Village, resulting in a significant investment into the town.

The centre also benefits from an exciting schedule of events that partners organise throughout the year aimed at attracting more visitors.