Traders at Bradford markets could change their minds about whether they want to merge their two sites into one extra-large market now that work has started on the Westfield, a Council committee heard.
Bradford Council is considering whether to combine the Kirkgate Market and Opastler Shopping Centre into a new site, despite the results of a survey of existing traders which found the majority were opposed to moving their stalls.
However, the Council’s Regeneration and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee last night heard the consultation had been carried out before work began on Westfield’s Broadway shopping development.
Council officer Colin Wolstenholme said it was not possible to know whether this would have changed their responses.
A report to the meeting said, as part of the consultation, traders were asked which of the three options they preferred.
At Kirkgate, a total of 93 per cent of tenants wanted to see any merged market located there and none wanted it at Oastler.
Meanwhile, at Oastler 61 per cent of traders wanted the new enlarged market there and none wanted it at Kirkgate.
Mr Wolstenholme said some of those said they would want a new site to be “as close to Westfield as possible”.
Asked whether he was concerned it appeared stallholders did not want to move, he said the response to the questionnaire was “expected”.
Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, executive member for culture, added the Council was not able to provide any definitive details about the plans.
“We ask ‘will you move?’ They say ‘to where?’ We can’t answer that question.
“This is in the very early stages of this process and we will keep consulting.”
Mr Wolstenholme said the next step of the plan would be to get specific commercial, technical and financial advice about each of the three options – which would take around four months.
He added consultation with traders would continue.
The officer also gave councillors an update on plans for Bradford’s first official city centre Asian bazaar at the old Rawson Market.
He said the “legals” would be finalised by the end of next week, with the tenants moving in at the end of January or February, and it being ready to open by March or April.
Meanwhile, the committee heard an update on plans to promote Saltaire’s World Heritage Site status.
A management plan for the village is being drawn up, which looks at how to boost tourism and the area’s economy while considering the objectives of the World Heritage Convention.