Market traders in Wrexham have been given a New Year boost after receiving a rent concession of 25% from Wrexham Council.
The concession applies to tenants at all of Wrexham’s indoor markets and is designed to help them through the three most difficult trading months of the year from January to March.
A variety of incentives are also available for new tenants in the three indoor markets and the twenty-seven shop units owned by the council in Wrexham town centre.
The reductions follows a number of other initiatives launched by the local authority to help increase trade in the town centre in recent months.
Last year free parking was introduced after twelve noon at the Crescent Road and People’s Market car parks to help both shoppers and business owners.
Wrexham Council has said that it is continuing to look at ways in which it can help Wrexham businesses and in particular its own retail tenants.
Councillor Rodney Skelland, Lead Member for Regeneration and Corporate Governance said: “The council is committed to helping businesses wherever it can. There are no grants available for the retail sector and so to be able to reduce the rents over the short term whilst we continue to discuss the best way forward will ensure that the next steps taken are those wanted by the traders.”
The rent concession has been welcomed by market traders, Barry Williams, who runs Beauty Box in the People’s Market said: “We are very pleased that the council has taken the time to listen to the traders concerns and to take immediate action to help. This is most impressive as sometimes the wheels of democracy seem to turn slowly.”
The news comes as a further boost to town centre businesses after Wrexham’s independent retailers came fourth out of 87 towns in the UK in a mystery shopper exercise.
Two of the indoor market traders achieved 100% in the scoring and all the market traders surveyed achieved over 90%.
Despite this, 2011 was another tough year for retailers and town centres across the UK. In her report on the UK High Street, Mary Portas highlighted the importance of markets and the independent sector in creating town centres that are different and attractive to shoppers.
Wrexham Council has already moved to address some of the points raised by the report such as introducing the free car parking and is now working actively with the Town Centre Forum and market traders to plan for the next three years.
Measures proposed include funding for refurbishment, plans to offer traders a greater web presence, improved signage and increased marketing.
The rent concessions are aimed to help trades during the planning period before the programme of works and further investment takes place.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Ron Davies, Deputy Leader, Cllr David Bithell and Cllr Skelland have all met representatives of the indoor markets to discuss the current national and local retail position.
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