Market Stalls and Ty Pawb

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    Ioan y Ffin

    Ty Pawb have organized a series of generally well-attended events since opening in April (in comparison nothing happened in the People’s Market except the occasional trader falling asleep breaking the silence with their snoring). Most times I walk through the new market area, the food court is really busy, especially on Saturdays, so perhaps it is the market stalls’ offer that is the problem – may be the pound stores and out of town shopping centres have taken gobbled up their market. There’s nothing I want to buy in the stalls i have passed but I guess someone might want to part with money for what they are selling. The other issue is that while it’s the council’s responsibility to promote its markets and signpost them (Ty Pawb has a much higher profile in the town than the so-called People’s Market ever did – it was a dreary depressing dump, once visited, forever afterwards avoided.); surely it is up to the traders to do something to raise their profile rather than just bleat.The food sellers appear to have managed it.


    I can’t disagree with the idea that in the last couple of years the Peoples Market was a depressing place. It wasn’t always like that. Having gone in there in 2006 (after Phase One) I found the place vibrant with every stall occupied. Indeed, it was the Peoples Market that provided WCBC with its main revenue take from the Markets. This lasted until late 2008 when a confluence of Eagles Meadow, global crash and then T J Hughes closure came along in quick succession to undermine the place. I left in 2013.

    I would also agree with you that traders do have a habit of complaining. Having been a trader, I do have to point out that much of this comes with frustration. I have never seen such a shambles as the running of the Markets back then and it was a comedy show. Eventually, some positive moves were coming along to restructure the place but that was when WCBC decided to completely restructure the place.

    Whilst you claim that it is the trader offer that you think poor and the food offer good, you probably missed the fact that the place was originally sold to Wrexham’s public with many big ideas (cinema, state of the art Arts, et al). The closer that Ty Pawb came to opening, the more that local businesses like myself tried to find out about the plans for the centre, many of us with an eye on placing a unit therein. What we noted was underwhelming and you will note in the news feed that many businesses did not feel confident about up-taking contracts. Little has been done in the way of Marketing (as opposed to advertising) and the sense remains that a target market has not been identified and the overall offer shaped to suit. The launch was a sad blend of brilliant (15,000 punters through the door) and disturbing (no evidence of on-going events) and the Hub hardly hit the ground running. The fact that the Council has failed to get a sign on the Chester Street end of Ty Pawb even now might tell you something about the Hub’s launch. The Hub’s management need to sit down and have a root and branch look at the offer in Ty Pawb. There does need to be a coherence of offer (Arts fused with Craft and Arts produce on the stalls), a target market or an aggregation of niches identified, and work done to entice the aspirational of Wrexham to trade profitability within what could be a roaring success


    Council Watcher

    Alunh- I agree with the need for a root and branch review but not by the existing management (that includes the Lead Member) as they clearly don’t have the skill set to make a difference — if they did then surely being handed what effectively was a blank canvas to develop but unfortunately failed. This is not personal as I am sure they are very nice people.

    If they (the Council) cannot even get their rental income systems sorted shows the level of incompetence across the Council. There are two sides to any set of accounts – income and expenditure- failure to balance these is only resulting in more and more loss. Financial Management on this scale is not even to do with the Ty Pawb management as it surely goes to the top of the Finance Department not to have had systems in place – they had a two year run in period!

    The lack of the establishment of the “Advisory Group” (yes they advertised but never held a single meeting) shows that the Council probably have a bigger back hole that they don’t want external people to scrutinise. Having a meeting including external people would open them with independent eyes to delve into the whole running.

    With so much negativity the Arts Council as the largest investor should be asking their own questions about how they agreed to pump so much money into a project that is on a closure pathway before the 1st Anniversary.

    How the Council will present this disaster at their forthcoming budget meetings – “Difficult Decisions” when there will no doubt be proposals to cut more funding to Social Care and other services so that they can retain the subsidy for this vanity project.


    Llayby lilly

    Am I right in thinking that in the near future that all traders within Ty Pawb will be presented with a large bill? Or are WCBC going to write-off past charges and start afresh once the financial system has been introduced? I think we all need a statement of clarification.


    Hugh Bet

    My understanding of the issue at hand is that all stall holders WILL have to pay all monies outstanding.

    What i fail to comprehend is why this has happened because for other markets “All stalls are offered on the basis of a Periodic Business Tenancy. Rent is payable monthly in advance by Direct Debit with a deposit payable upon taking occupation. The tenant may vacate the stall upon serving three months written notice to the Council.”



    The latest article published on is absolutely astonishing. The council’s position is one of complete neglect and incompetence when it comes to the timeline of Ty Pawb leading up the launch and from beginning of April onwards.

    Someone from the Arts Council (being a major stakeholder) or another external party needs to immediately go down there and find out exactly what the f*ck is going on! Both the rate payers and the local traders have comprehensively been shafted.

    The venue is going to incur far greater losses and costs to the rate payers than initially projected – more money cannot be afforded to be thrown down the drain – not when the difficult decisions document cut so many public services across the county.

    The traders have livelihoods and families to think about but the council couldn’t care less if trading conditions were piss poor from the outset on an unfinished venue and contracts haven’t even been set-up – plus completely misled about Opening Hours. Quite frankly none of them should pay any rent until they see collective legal representation and only pay rent once major issues have been dealt with and moving forward. I know the collected rent arrears are supposed to go back into the public purse, but quite frankly there has been gross mismanagement on the council’s part they are 100% to blame.

    Also incredible that got threatened with legal action for repeating comments already in the public domain. Another shameful day for Wrexham I’m afraid.



    Matt–Going back to 2003 there was a complete mess up with contracts within Wrexham Markets. Tenants had signed contracts that were not abided to by the Council.
    So, it is not a surprise that the practice of mismanagement in the markets is still going on.
    The tenancy agreements that tenants had in the Peoples Market gave them the nomination rights to sell their business when they finished, they should STILL expect the same, having gone back into Ty Pawb.

    Service Charges were quoted to me by the Council as being £70m2 for Ty Pawb.
    On the agreements that tenants had in the Peoples Market the Service Charge was calculated on the running costs from January to December and recharged to tenants from April to March in the following year. How can the Council charge a Service Charge before they know the costs of the services they provide?

    All in all a very unsatisfactory situation to be in.
    If you want things to go wrong get the Council involved.



    The old adage, couldn’t run a piss up in a brewery comes to mind.


    Council Watcher

    Well, this is now turning into a real hot potato for the new Chief Executive when he starts in September. There is now so much coming out from various quarters that no stone should be left unturned by an independent investigation.

    The stall holders future is at stake whilst Council Officers and Members are in salaried positions that give a level of protection self-employed people don’t have.

    It is time that there was a public meeting so that the people who are having to pay any subsidy – the public of Wrexham – can actually find out fully what is going on and what plans if any are in place to try and turn the fortunes around.

    At the moment this feels like the Titanic with a Captain at the helm in total denial that the ship is going down – Ty Pawb is limping from one mismanagement issue to the next on a daily basis.

    Rob confused with your comment about possible legal action — are you referring to the Council or Traders threatening the action.



    Maybe Scrutiny will ask for an independent investigation after their September meeting.
    The same top management have been in office for years, it does seem to be not working on the markets side. Maybe time should be taken to look at the senior management, instead of only cutting back at lower levels.

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