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1,000 sign petition to save the Eastgate Market for moving upstairs at The Eastgate shopping centre to make way for new TK Maxx store

By citizenmike  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

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Eastgate Market

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One thousand people and counting have signed a petition calling for Eastgate Market to remain where it is.

Plans are afoot to move the market to pave the way for the arrival of discounted brand retailer TK Maxx.

But traders and shoppers have hit out at a proposal to move the market to the upstairs food court at The Eastgate shopping centre.

A petition sheet is being held at every stall in the market – and more than 1,000 people have pledged their support in less than a week.

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An online version of the petition has already raised a further 120 signatures too.

Miriam Bubb, spokesman for the traders, who runs the JL and MR Bubb Vacuum Specialists stall, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received.

“This petition is to save the market and to keep it on the flat – we don’t want to go upstairs.

“Other places elsewhere have moved upstairs and it just doesn’t work. The customers don’t want it and without our customers we don’t have a business.

“We’re fighting together as traders with our customers.”

The market boasts 156 traders, most of whom are self-employed.

Mrs Bubb added: “This is a first class market. With 156 traders this place gives a lot of people jobs – more than TK Maxx would.”

Trader Liz Senior said: “A lot of people who use the market are older with mobility scooters or young families with push chairs. They are not going to go upstairs.”

The traders have recently entered negotiations with Gloucester City Council over their future.

City council leader Paul James has vowed to work with them to help find them a new home that they agree with.

But he previously warned: “It is not easy to find an alternative space because it needs a big floor space.”

City council officials visited the market in the last few days to measure the floor space occupied by each retailer.

Karen Merritt, who has signed the online petition, said: “My daughter manages one of the market stalls where she makes a living. Why must small independent traders, bringing individuality to the market place, be replaced by yet another big business making the shopping centre like any other in any other town.”

Robert Harris, from Cinderford, added: “There are plenty of other sites that TK Maxx can move into. Moving the market will destroy the businesses of all that have stalls there.”

The online petition can be viewed at www.change.org by searching for ‘save the Eastgate Market Hall’.

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14 comments

  • jas37  |  December 09 2013, 11:03PM

    zamapompadoo, Firstly the upstairs of the Eastgate is not the right size or shape for a retail operation like T K Maxx. Are you suggesting that the Market traders are willing and able to fund the £1m repairs to the building?

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  • Glos_Lad34  |  December 09 2013, 9:17PM

    @zalapompadoo Most people on here, Haven't said they hate the Market only just saying it needs to be in a better place or needs major money spent on it.

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  • zalapompadoo  |  December 09 2013, 7:19PM

    tkmaxx in the regent shopping arcade in cheltenham seems be working so why not put them upstairs and give the market the facelift it deserves and leave it where it is. many comments seem to hate the market yet it has been there 40 years will tkmaxx still be around in 40 years i doubt it, market haters snobbery .

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  • jas37  |  December 09 2013, 11:26AM

    It appears that this petition has had some sort of positive effect, it's started a debate, many more people now seem to be giving the issue some genuine thought and realising that the Market move has to happen. The more I've looked at the space upstairs ( and taken into account the space that's hidden behind walls that will be removed) the more convinced the Market could do well up there. It's certainly a lot lighter and more pleasant.

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  • Rob_quedgeley  |  December 08 2013, 10:48AM

    People are reacting as if the market is a quaint, picturesque place filled with charm and a genuine attraction. In reality it's grotty, dark and filled with tat. As it stands, with the work required, it's probably a year from being economically inviable. The market clearly doesn't generate the revenues to cover the repair costs and is in a prime location. If there is a way to move the stall holders to a modern facility then this must be a benefit for all concerned as long as the location is suitable. The stall holders have a decision to make, hold up in the dark, miserable market hall and face closing due to economic factors or grab the opportunity to move somewhere new and give it a go. Not hearing any suggestions of the building being sorted with the market in there.

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  • NotThis  |  December 07 2013, 11:41PM

    jas37 you talk complete sense. The building is cream crackered and stall holders would be crippled if held accountable for the cost of repair. Or do they expect the council to cough up? It's not a charity! 1000 signatures is nothing. Sense will out. Personally I find the market as it is pretty depressing. Certainly would not shop there. A new location could offer it a brighter future. Change can be a good thing.

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  • jas37  |  December 07 2013, 9:23PM

    The City Centre is screaming out for retailers such as T K Maxx and has been for a long time. There is surely no way that either the City Council or Rockspring could either afford or justify spending £1m on that building with no possibility of any reasonable return. The Market's going to have to move out of that building anyway. If T K Maxx move in money will be available to offer the Stall holders relocation packages and reduced rents. If T K Maxx don't move in chances are the market would have to close down in the not too distant future. If I was a stall holder I would be one of the first to sign up to ensure I got an early choice of location.

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  • Floodmeadow  |  December 07 2013, 6:17PM

    We needs to get more petitions … http://tinyurl.com/oc3udjf

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  • Glos_Lad34  |  December 07 2013, 2:05PM

    @Joner63 TKMaxx avoided the old Marks and Spencers because the building has asbestos.

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  • Studley1975  |  December 07 2013, 11:02AM

    Yay Let's Prevent Progress?????

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