MARKET traders are facing an uncertain future in Gloucester after being told they must move from their weekly slot in King’s Square.
The Cherry and White market on a Friday and Saturday will set up at the bottom of Westgate Street from next month due to an archaeological dig in the square.
It is part of a redevelopment of the site to smarten it up ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.
But some traders, including popular butcher Andy Pattison, are not happy at losing a pitch they have called home for the last seven years since moving from the cattle market.
“We have had several moves and in 2007 thought we had found our perfect permanent home at King’s Square,” said Andy.
He said his concerns were not about standing in the way of progress when things need to happen.
“We have been in the city for 17 years. There is not enough room there for our lorry in Westgate Street,” he said.
“There are a lot of regular customers and people know where we are. This will be confusing and it will cost us trade.”
Andy said other permanent businesses, including Iceland, want him to stay as his regular customers also visit shops nearby.
He said he has offered a plan to the city council that would see him manage the market, and offered to pay 12-months rent up front to stay on a pitch on the lower part of King’s Square, away from any ground works.
“My customers don’t know where we will be next month, and neither do we,” he added.
“I understand we can only be there until April 20. It doesn't give us a lot of time to find somewhere else. We just want answers.
“Ideally we would stay in King’s Square, but anywhere that is suitable for us in Gloucester where we can continue to serve the people here. “Even the lower tier of King’s Square would work for us. The options we have put forward have been ignored.”
Customer Ray Armishaw, who lives in Alney Island, suggested Southgate Street would be a better temporary home for the butcher’s lorry.
“The lorry could go outside B&M as it is quite wide there,” he said.
“The manager said it would have to consider if would be too dark in the store first, but they didn’t say no. It is an option. Moving there would benefit other shops around that area too.”
A city council spokesman said: “As part of the King’s Quarter regeneration there will be a major archaeological investigation, with community involvement, starting in May.
“This will involve the temporary relocation of some of the traders whilst the work takes place. Officers are working with traders to find suitable alternative arrangements during this time, but this is proving to be problematic with the large vehicle used by the butcher.
“Meetings are still ongoing to try and come to a suitable conclusion.”