Nearly 2,000 shoppers have thrown their weight behind the bid to keep the historic Eastgate Market in its familiar surroundings.
From butchers and fish mongers to tailors and tattoo artists, the once-thriving market has it all – with some traders having been in business there for half a century.
But now plans are being drawn up that would see the market move upstairs in the shopping centre to make way for the incoming discounted brand retailer TK Maxx.
Many traders feel that moving the market will decrease footfall and could ultimately lead to the closure of their long-established businesses.
However, the stall holders are fighting back and at the start of the month they launched a petition asking their customers to add their names to their cause.
And now around 2,000 people have signed the form, with a further 240 adding their names to the online version.
Traders’ spokesman Miriam Bubb, who runs the JL and MR Bubb Vacuum Specialists stall, said: “All of the customers are saying it’s ludicrous.
“I have been overwhelmed by the response we have had to be honest. To get 1,000 in the first week and then another 1,000 in the second is fabulous.
“We will keep collecting signatures until the very end, we will keep fighting.
“Because we are really busy at the moment in the lead up to Christmas we don’t always have time to show our customers the petitions, but we have people coming to us and asking us about it.”
Market trader Tavia Merritt launched an online petition and said: “Every stall has a copy of the petition and the response from the shoppers has been great.
“I haven’t heard of a single person who is for moving the market, everyone wants to keep it here.
“The online survey is going really well too.
“Each stall holder has handled it differently, some chat to their customers about it, I just leave mine out the front and they sign it if they want to.”
Gillian Cole, from Gloucester, has added her name to the petition. She said: “I have been going there since I was three years old, I’m now 68.
“It will be rotten if they take this away, I would not trust them again with anything. It has been here even since my gran was using it and I still go there regularly.”
Gloucester City Council leader Paul James said: “We recognise that the future of the indoor market is a sensitive issue that people care about and we will take the petition into account.
“I hope there will be a way that we can satisfy both parties.”