Traders in Tŷ Pawb appear to have won the battle with Wrexham Council over rent discounts in the new arts and cultural centre.
Previously traders had made it clear they were happy to pay rent after a FOI revealed none had been collected from traders, but felt they were entitled to some form of compensation for the hassle endured during the opening few months of the centre.
In a letter seen by Wrexham.com, Wrexham Council wrote to traders two weeks ago to say they were ‘listening’ to concerns raised, and acknowledged ‘that there have been ongoing building works specifically during the first three months (April-June) that Tŷ Pawb was open, which have impacted on trading conditions for those in occupation at that time.”
Issues after the opening day included ongoing noisy work with drilling and grinding as building continued, as well as issues relating to non existent or terrible internet connections.
The letter goes on to outline the further concessions, with 30% rent concession offered to those in occupation between April-June. The 30% is on top of an existing 20% concession that is in place for all traders during year one of Tŷ Pawb, “Therefore the total rental concession for the months April, May and June 2018 will be 50%, it will then revert to the agreed 20% from July 2018.”
In the days before the letter was sent a heated trader meeting took place, with traders inviting some local press (not Wrexham.com) to ensure their concerns were made known to a wider audience, with accusations of ‘bullying‘ due to a strongly worded council letter.
The more recent and positive letter to traders notes that ‘the more significant building works were completed by 1st July and conditions improved’, despite Council Leader Mark Pritchard, and the Lead Councillor on the project Councillor Hugh Jones both describing things in April as the facility opening ‘on time and on budget’.
The communication to traders also states there will be no further concessions applied beyond the amount offered or the time frames specified.
No details were provide on what ongoing service charges would be however traders have been promised further updates.
Wrexham Council told us: “We have met with the traders and feel that positive progress is being made. We have written to them to fully update them on the current position. We are very confident that the majority of traders will find our approach reasonable and fair.”
The letter echos that message, “As with any new business (Tŷ Pawb is a business in its entirety) the first year is always an unpredictable one and we are learning what works and what does not, the team at Tŷ Pawb want to work with you to understand this in order to maximise all efforts in making Tŷ Pawb a success.”
Other action being taken on issues raised by traders, specifically internal signage and issues with the traders gent’s toilets.
Wrexham Council will also be offering business support sessions to traders, including marketing, online sales, how to present stock and other related skills.