Former traders feel 'erased' from city market

Former stallholders of Lincoln's market have said they feel "erased" from its history after a major renovation.

Cornhill Market, previously Central Market, reopened its doors to the public on 17 May after a £7m refit.

Original traders in the building on Sincil Street were told by the council they had to move out before work started in May 2022.

The City of Lincoln Council said it is "incredibly proud" of the refurbishment and that it "continues to support" businesses across the city.

Mark Brunton, 63, runs Comic Worlds, located in St Benedict's Church on the High Street.

Reflecting on visiting the newly-revamped market, he said: "It was a bit like walking over your own grave in a way. It did look nice but we only wish it was like that when we were in there.

"No one was doubting something needed doing but now it's so expensive the previous traders can't afford to go back."

He added: "I think we, the old traders, feel like we have been erased from the history of the building.

"There's nothing in there to show we were there."

Shaun Redfearn runs The Watchman, which is next to the bus station.

He previously ran Full Circle Books in Lincoln Central Market.

Mr Redfearn said: "It's not a market from what I've heard, it's just food. It's not what we were promised it would be.

"We were supposed to have been invited back when it was open. There is not one original trader in there."

Linda Hodds runs The Woolbox in St Benedict's Church after moving from Lincoln's Little Shops on St Mary's Street.

She said: "When you were in the market for a long time, it's hard. It was a community and we all worked together.

"I will continue while I can keep paying my bills, my regulars want me to carry on because they've had the wool for generations."

Fey Bird runs Alter It, a clothing alteration business on St Mary's Street.

She said: "The new market is a lot better and more modern but I miss the camaraderie."

Eunice Porter, bookshop manager of Unicorn Tree Books in St Benedict's Church, said: "Once we realised the council had not allowed our businesses to go back, we thought we'd make the best of where we are.

"We are still here two years later."

Kate Ellis, director of major developments at City of Lincoln Council, said: "We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved with our refurbishment of Lincoln Cornhill Market.

"There are a wide variety of stallholders in place, offering everything from plants and jewellery to fresh fruit and vegetables and food - with more to come later this year."

She added: "We have received lots of fantastic, positive feedback from visitors, local residents and traders. We have also received new trader enquiries from local businesses who have visited the site since the opening.

"As part of our Inclusive Economic Growth Priority, we will continue to support businesses across the city."

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