Thursday, 20 December 2007

Is Kirkgate Market next?

Independent traders at the Corn Exchange in Leeds are being kicked out by the managers of the building Zurich. And what is the solution proposed by Leeds City Council, owners of the building? That they will find them a place in the next door Kirkgate Market...

Corn Exchange traders have already suggested that this is a very unlikely idea as both clienteles are very different and the Corn Exchange caters for higher income groups. Unless, of course, the Council has their own plans for the Kirkgate Market
The Council has indeed plans to redevelop the Kirkgate Market and although in all the public communications so far the Council has maintained that the regeneration will keep it as it is, this new revelation points to the worst: that they envision a beautification of the Market, capitalising on next door future development of Eastgate and Harewood Quarter. This will be an upmarket shopping centre, understood by many to be an extension of the Victoria Quarter. More flambouyantly, Stuart Robinson, consultant at this shopping centre project said that the galleria is designed to be “on a par with Milan’s Vittorio Emanuele.” This is classified as one of the most expensive and exclusive places in Europe but it also has fantastic 1870s architecture, something that Terry Farrell’s design will never be able to reproduce.

You somehow can't escape the thought of how will the shoppers of such an exclusive shopping centre feel next to the butcher's row in the next door Kirkgate Market.

Traders are the Market are already aware of all these ongoing plans and fear the worst.

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