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'Priced out of the market'

Why Greaty traders fear move to Dryden Street may kill off a Liverpool tradition

Written by . Published on January 9th 2014.

'Priced out of the market'

IT'S as synonymous with Liverpool life as Anfield, the Beatles and Everton Mints, but is there a future for “Greaty” - The Great Homer Street market? 

It is doomed, insists one group of traders who have been plying their trade for generations – including one with more than 40 years on the street. 

 'All we want is what we have always been promised and that is 300 stalls trading every Saturday in the heart of the project, rather than be shifted beyond the boundaries of the new Great Homer Street development'

Read the carefully crafted communiqué from Dale Street and all seems well with Project Jennifer, a £100m project, with claims it will create 1,000 new jobs, Liverpool’s biggest supermarket (a Sainsbury's), shops, homes and a brand new home for the popular market, founded more than 180 years ago. 

The council insists the proposals are backed by the market traders themselves. But a procession of market traders have told Liverpool Confidential they have NOT been consulted and oppose the move to what they call a backwater that could spell the end for the market. 

Project Jennifer is being led by development company St Modwen in conjunction with the city council. 

Img_2971Market day

Original plans show the market at the heart of the retail development, but it has now been shunted to a site on the sidelines because, it is claimed, there's no longer any space for it in the scheme of things. 

Instead, the permanent home for the indoor and outdoor market is Dryden Street, hundreds of yards down the road from the main buzz of the new stores and behind a 7ft fence. 

Will people really park their cars at Sainsbury's, do their weekly shop and then make the long trek down the road to the new, Not-The-Great-Homer-Street-Market? Many of the traders think not and fear there is a bigger business agenda.

Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, city cabinet member for regeneration, said in the announcement: “We have listened to the views of the market traders and customers... and responded to their needs … and demonstrates our commitment to delivering this vital scheme. 

“The new market at Dryden Street will complement the development at Great Homer Street and will provide a first class facility that will enable it to thrive.” 

Great_Homer_Street_Market_Project_Jennifer %285%29

The council says it has been working closely with St Modwen and the city's market operator Groupe Geraud to “determine the best location which will see it (the market) move from its current position to make way for the comprehensive regeneration of Great Homer Street”. 

But best location for who? ask the traders. 

The Dryden Street site represents a "significant investment" says the council, and will include the creation of an indoor and partially covered outdoor market and parking on one site for customers and traders' vans.

Although its construction is some way down the line, all the Greaty stallholders have been told they must pack up and move there this May, to a temporary housing. 

Great_Homer_Street_Market_Project_Jennifer %2810%29West side story: The market here be cleared to make way for Sainsbury's

Here's the current lie of the land. The Saturday market, which attracts thousands of visitors, takes place on each side of Great Homer Street, a highway which is now dividing traders in more ways than one. 

It seems representatives of those on the west side of the street back the move to Dryden Street. Their home is destined to close this May, anyway, to enable demolition to start so the new Sainsbury's can be built. 

But on the opposite of Great Homer St it is a different story. Traders on the east side, who set up their stalls along the pavement in front of the shopping arcade, say they are being pushed out after being the street’s major draw for decades. 

Seller Billy Darwin (pictured top, right) accused the council, St Modwen and Geraud Markets of breaking promises. He fears the traders of Great Homer Street are being brushed aside by the council, virtually sacrificed to make way for the new big shops. 

“This is creating anger and frustration and even more so after Councillor Kennedy said the shopkeepers and market traders of Great Homer Street have been consulted and are happy to move. This could not be further from the truth,” he said. 

“There is not one shopkeeper or market trader on the east side - which is by far the largest part of the market - who wants to move to Dryden Street, a back-street location away from the main multi million pound development which is Project Jennifer. Why would anybody willingly go to what is outside the main development area? 

“The market traders and shopkeepers have always been 100pc behind Project Jennifer and that has never changed. All we want is what we have always been promised and that is 300 stalls trading every Saturday in the heart of the project, rather than to be shifted beyond the boundaries of the new Great Homer Street development which will cause great harm to our businesses, our livelihoods and great harm to one of Liverpool's great traditions - the world famous Greaty market.” 

He went on: “Many traders have been trading here for many years, a lot of them on the same pitches passed down through their families.  

“What was promised was moving to Dryden Street on a temporary basis and then moving back into the heart of Project Jennifer.” 

The east-side traders also claim they had been told they could stay put until the end of 2015 when regeneration there is set to begin. Trader Tom Stalker (pictured top, left) said the east-side precinct shops and market stalls mutually support each other and all will suffer if the stalls move away this May. 

“I just feel the market will die away. We need to sit down and talk with Mayor Anderson and Cllr Kennedy,  but without the bullying we have faced from some quarters in the past.” 

Cllr Kennedy told Liverpool Confidential he was aware of an “alternative view” but insisted: “The issue has been discussed in a stakeholders group which has included official representatives of the traders.” 

Christine and John BurnsChristine and John Burns: 'We want to see a market close to Sainsbury's'

He said: “The issue was that the space was limited in the Project Jennifer development and the discussion then centred on an alternative site. 

“The options were to move temporarily across the road for one year and then to Dryden Street where a purpose built market would be built with a covered area and parking, or to make the transfer in one move now. Consultation in the stakeholder group indicated that the second option was preferred although an alternative view has been put forward by the people you have been talking to.” 

Meanwhile the anger, fear and mixed messages continue. 

PatbartleyPat Bartley: 'I’d have to be mad to want to move over to Dryden Street'

Long-term stallholder Pat Bartley said: “I’d like to stay where I am as long as I can. Moving to Dryden Street will be a gamble for the market traders, especially if it is an enclosed market. Surely after 40 years here I ought to have some rights about what happens. This is my livelihood. I’d have to be mad to want to move over to Dryden Street. I’ve been to have a look at the site and it won’t work.” 

John Burns who runs a Great Homer Street shop with his wife, Christine, said: “We want to see a market close to Sainsbury's. The council just isn’t being fair to the market traders. We all fear we are just going to be phased out.” 

The traders and shopkeepers have now formed a joint committee to present a united front to the council and representatives will be putting their case to Cllr Kennedy in a meeting tomorrow (January 10). 

Great_Homer_Street_Market_Project_Jennifer %289%29Grim and desolate: Great Homer Street precinct on a weekday

Project Jennifer has been on the drawing board for at least a decade and nobody who has taken a walk down a grim and desolate Great Homer Street on a weekday can argue that it won't bring huge benefits to one of the city's most run-down areas and attract new investment. 

Nevertheless, while many east side traders were initially prepared to go to Dryden Street at the end of 2015, some are now having second thoughts altogether, realising an enclosed market will lose the attraction of a high street presence.  

“We are small businesses trying to make ends meet, working in all weathers to support our families," says Billy Darwin. “The council and Geraud Markets have got to stop treating us market traders like second class citizens.”  

Great_Homer_Street_Market_Project_Jennifer %2811%29 

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60 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

EditorialJanuary 9th 2014.

It has taken us at Liverpool Confidential days to unravel the saga of Great Homer Street. Since posting our article the council has added this: “The group opposing the move is described as the new Great Homer Street Committee. It is believed the majority of members are not market traders as such (they don’t rent pitches from Geraud Markets but are tenants of the shops in the existing Shopping Centre). It is proposed to move the whole market to Dryden Street in May to allow work to start on the redevelopment of the west side of Great Homer Street. It was originally proposed to move the market to Dryden Street on a temporary basis and to move them back to a site opposite the new Sainsburys in 2016. Although there was space for a new market hall space for the outdoor traders was extremely limited and, at most, would accommodate only 100 stalls. This is considerably less than currently provided (c 150). With this in mind it was decided to make Dryden Street the permanent location. The site at Dryden Street is approximately 250m2 (0.15 miles) from the existing site. It will accommodate 80 indoor stalls, 178 outdoor stalls (of which about 37 would be under a canopy), and parking spaces for visitors an traders vans. There is also adjoining property which could be used to expand the market if required. Consultation with the market traders suggest the majority of those spoken to are supportive of the move to Dryden Street. There will be some who are resistant to change but it is hoped they will be won round once they see what is on offer in the new site.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Great ScottieJanuary 10th 2014.

"It is believed the majority of members are not market traders as such (they don’t rent pitches from Geraud Markets but are tenants of the shops in the existing Shopping Centre)." This is just not true. Ask any of those 100 tenants to show you their rent receipts and they all show the same landlord: Geraud Markets.

Amos NonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

There are dark forces at work, the truth never gets in the way of their objective, they distort it to suit the bile that flows from their lips. They are pretty efficient at it, you have to be on your mettle to combat it........Stay with it Scottie

Absinthe & TurksJanuary 9th 2014.

What's happened to St. Martin's Market?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
KnowledgeableJanuary 9th 2014.

It was demolished years ago to make way for the NSPCC HQ

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

As I said below I've been coming here for 25 years, but I don't think St Martins as been there for about good 10 years.

Absinthe & TurksJanuary 10th 2014.

I used to go there on Saturdays in the 1980s when Father Francis played his guitar in there. I got my best suit there for £2 and loads of other stuff. It wasn't a place I patronised but 'Kathleen Gregory' the shop that pioneered selling 'designer' women's clothes in the early 1980s started as a stall in St. Martin's Market.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

I've shopped in greaty for 25 years and the market should stay in greaty, reading this story its clear that the traders are behind this project 100% but just want to be by the other shops the way its always been and i couldn't agree more, great homer street market should be on great homer street. well done market traders for still wanting this Project even though your getting pushed out.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

I suppose Dryden Street Market has a nice international ring about it....yea well. Let's face it, they are being airbrushed out of Project Jennifer.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
Amos nonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

"Airbrushed" .....MMMMmmmmmm..............Interesting use of the word...................Is that diplomatic speak for "Shangaied"

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

The market would stand a better chance moving to Shangai than Dryden street.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2014.

"shafted" is another interesting word.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2014.

Joe was heard to remark, "Well that's that, it's all cut and Dryden"

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

I hope the traders all stand firm and stand together and say they want to stay where they are. If Dryden Street is that good let Sainsbury's go there. Let's be honest if you are trying to find occupants for new (high rent!) shops, the obvious targets would be the pound shops. Will they dig deep into their pockets when outside there are stalls selling what they sell. It's all about economics. The market was used as a catalyst for the whole scheme, now the approvals are all in place it seems they are superfluous, a nuisance even. So stick them away in a little corner.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.


Absinthe & TurksJanuary 10th 2014.

Yes. They've been there for years even when developing the area wasn't fashionable and now they're getting the bum's rush. The landmark for people going to Greatie by bus along Scottie Road was always the huge St. Anthony's church and now the busybodies in charge want to move them away from it.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

What's needed is an honest poll of all of the traders to ask if they are happy to see the market moved to Dryden street, just a straight forward question, yes or no. None of the spin and bullsh**. Trouble is who could we trust to conduct such a poll.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 12th 2014.

What's needed is a Fatwa Lah, get rid of the whole council. They were quick enough out of the blocks in Vauxhall, they're now conspicuous by their absence.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

Anyone on here really, they're all experts, just a shame they are so busy squabbling or they'd have the city straightened out in no time

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

This is about people's livelihoods, if you don't have anything positive to say, butt out.

AnonymousJanuary 9th 2014.

I think the traders have every right to stay on the main street when its finished,they are only sticking up for themselves.

Councillor ContraceptionJanuary 10th 2014.

They're the sort of comments we've come to expect from that Ken Malady, he thinks he's the dog's bolleauxs. I wish he'd bugger off back to Blaydon.

Councillor NumptyJanuary 10th 2014.

Well said Councillor, I think Joe should have a re-shuffle and make you the "member for re-generation"......

A readerJanuary 10th 2014.

Very good work Livconf and much appreciated Larry.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Councillor NumptyJanuary 10th 2014.

Grovellor Malady.

Councillor NimbyJanuary 10th 2014.

"Project Jennifer"!!. Who dreams them up? It sounds like something that should be in Eccles not the north end.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

So lets get this straight. Jennifer started as a market-centric project, ie shops and a supermarket around the highly popular Greatie. Then suddenly the market is exported to the Outer Hebrides. Makes you wonder whether there has been a sleight of hand here.

8 Responses: Reply To This...
Amos NonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

Do you ever feel like you're being watched.''''''''''''...........There was me thinking the pen was mightier than the sword, ......then one flew over my cuckoo's nest.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

Amos, what colour is the sky on your planet?

AmosJanuary 10th 2014.

Green with purple spots

AmosJanuary 10th 2014.

I'm frightfully sorry anon, my barb was intended for the censor, I was trying to slip under the radar from an earlier post, but unfortunately pressed the wrong "reply button".......not to worry .........I'll catch the bar starred next time my orbit takes me within striking distance.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

Somebody is getting what we call in Liverpool A DRINK, sleight of hand is a bit mild, mmmmmmm ill read this article again and see if I can work out who's having the drink!

Amos CortisoneJanuary 10th 2014.

I heard they made him an offer he could not refuse, he woke up the following morning with a horse's head in the bed,..........then asked for two rounds of toast to go with it.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

Yes, I've read it again, its clear who getting the drink.

Ricky TomoJanuary 11th 2014.

Green with purple spots.....That could be Uranus.......Then again that might be "all my Arse"

Philip CoppellJanuary 10th 2014.

Wow another supermarket, can't wait, we are SO short of supermarkets. How many Tesco's, Asda's, Sainsbury's etc., are there already, so let's close local traders in favour of another multinational.

Joan GallenJanuary 10th 2014.

Sainsbury's were thwarted in their attempts to take over Crosby village centre not so long ago. It looks like they may have found somewhere else to invade and dominate...

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

Prominent city site, company you would not associate with client base, opposition to market traders, methinks I smell a rat........Short term development........long term land grab......capiche....

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

The Council wont move the market out of great homer street surely?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

They are doing

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2014.

But surely the traders have a right? and deserve to be allowed to stay on the main part on not by the tunnel.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2014.

The next move is through the tunnel. Scrub that, I forgot Wirral Waters. How does Widnes grab you?

knowledgeableJanuary 12th 2014.

The traders do have a right. As soon as they allow themselves to be turfed off Great Homer St they lose all those rights.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2014.

The traders are now saying the market is getting replaced with a car park , is this true?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 11th 2014.

Just park over there Madam!

AnonymousJanuary 19th 2014.

Couldn't they put the garage and the car park in Dryden St. That should leave room for the stallholders and possibly a "pick up point" somewhere adjacent the main complex.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2014.

Surely one of the big attractions of Great Homer Street Market was the stalls spread all along the street. It gives the whole area a real buzz. Liverpool's moto, if it isn't broke, then bleedin well get someone to break it.

tricky wooJanuary 12th 2014.

These people have been hoodwinked.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 12th 2014.

I think the Word "shafted" is apposite. It encapsulates the very essence of what has occurred...........bastards

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2014.

The same thing happened in Old Swan. All the little guys were moved out to make way for a big fuck off Tescos

Absinthe & TurksJanuary 12th 2014.

Ah 'Fruitique's Boutique' and the original 'Home & Bargain' were symbols of Old Swan until they were driven out.

GimpkingJanuary 13th 2014.

That Tesco dominates Old Swan. Did you know that the original Home & Bargain started there? Cheap cling film transformed all our lives

AnonymousJanuary 13th 2014.

You're forgetting the Weigh and Pay, and the Doll shop, plus the Oxfam shop in the listed building

Nosmo...Ah forget itJanuary 13th 2014.

You ask for transparency....and what do you get.......cling film......

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2014.

I've lived just off Greaty for years and it badly needs redevelopment, is Project Jennifer the right one? - who knows, only time will tell. I disagree with moving the traders away from the centre, its their rightful home and I dont see why space cant be found in the centre of the new development for a few hours of Saturday morning trading. However, when the traders and customers pack up and go home the mess left behind by the market on a Saturday afternoon is disgraceful, despite the clean up attempts, the rubbish hangs around for days and ends up blowing into our streets and gardens. I'm happy to see the traders and customers come to greaty for a few hours once every week (they've kept it going strong over the years) but I dont think the residents should have to put up with the mess. Whatever happens with the market within the new development, its waste needs to be better managed by all involved.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 12th 2014.

Completely agree, as a resident I'm sick of the state the place is left in every Saturday. Traders come to the area from their plush homes in Woolton village, trash the place once a week and leave it desolated for the rest of the week. The buildings are dilapidated and there's absolutely no investment going back into the area. The exaggerations on here about moving the market to the outer Hebrides are ridiculous. The market's still on Greatie. Accessible both from Gt Homer St and Drysden Street, it's literally 100 yards away in brand spanking new purpose built, highly visible facilities. With the new retail and Sainsburys moving in there's going to be massive amounts of footfall bringing huge benefit to the market traders. But as usual. Owlarses will find a way to piss & moan.

AnonymousFebruary 17th 2014.

Greaty Market was moved from its original site in the mid 1970s to make way for a hole in the ground (Kingsway tunnel) But that market was not actually on Great Homer street. Dryden street is just off Greaty and as near as you can now get to its original site. Its important that the market takes centre stage in the new development, thats what attracts visitors, not another supermarket chain stores etc. Done properly this could work well,but only if theres enough space for at least 200 stalls. Then the market will be THEY attraction and be able to stand alone.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Absinthe & TurksOctober 12th 2014.

Wasn't it on Cazneau Street originally?

AnonymousOctober 12th 2014.

It was on a site bordered by Great Nelson st, Cazneau st, Great Homer st / Fox st. and if I rememger right Juvenal street. The Bestway cash and carry occupies some of the original site now .

AnonymousNovember 20th 2014.

Now that Sainsbury have declared massive losses in their half year trading, as was the case with last years final trading figures. The new CEO has declared a rethinking on large supermarkets and concentrate on the 'metro' style stores. Earlier this year Sainsbury spent £5m on upgrading the Rice Lane store, this is about 4 miles from the Project Jennifer site, indications are this has not proven to have drawn the anticipated footfall Sainsbury have also made a decision not to go ahead with the current new builds programme!l and as such will also take a hit on its current land portfolio valuations when existing planning applications are withdrawn. Strange coincidence the day after this announcement Mayor Joe did a photo call on site (actually it was in the roadway to the site, they overlooked to wear the compulsory hard hats, which made it look very suspicious) appearing with a St Modwen representative, but no one from Sainsbury! Announcing spade in hand it was all systems go for the Project Jennifer at last. The sycophantic Liverpool Echo published this contrived photo. With the news over the Cunard Building fiasco, it appears Mr Mayor may shortly have another bad news day announcement to make....

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