Three new indoor markets set for town

WHEN Dolphin Square’s indoor market shuts for the last time next month there will be no less than three new marketplaces to replace it.

The popular market is due to be bulldozed as part of a comprehensive revamp of the area, adding big-name retail and leisure offerings to go alongside the hotel and car park already built.

The Mercury reported earlier this year that some stallholders had struck a deal with the owners of La Costa’s restaurant and nightclub to create a new market place in Princess Royal Square.

That deal has since fallen through, but the traders and the owners of La Costa have now both announced their intention to open two separate indoor markets.

And a third, also run by a Dolphin Square trader, is set to open next month.

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Traders Sarah and Scott Schranz were set to move into La Costa, but have now found premises in St James Street which they will move into once the old market shuts for good on September 21.

The new premises – set to be called The Market Place – will feature a number of traders from Dolphin Square.

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Mrs Schranz’s mother and fellow trader Pam Bytheway, who is helping her daughter with the plans, said: “St James Street is going to become the seaside destination of the future.

“The seafront’s loss will be St James Street’s gain and many of the independent traders moving there will be able to rebuild their businesses despite the lack of support and co-operation from the town’s officials and representatives.”

She added that they want St James Street to become a pedestrian-only zone, creating a ‘continental’ style area with activities on the street.

It is set to open at the end of September.

Following the collapse of the La Costa deal, nightclub owners Louis and Andrew Macrides say they will now complete a lifelong dream to turn the nightclub into a market while retaining the existing restaurant.

They aim to transform the nightclub into an 18-unit market that could be open from February to November, and could potentially open at the start of next year.

Louis Macrides said: “Andrew and I started with nothing and we made our way as market traders.

“We want to create a little community with the market and we want to welcome traders from Dolphin Square to sign up with us.”

Thirdly, businessman Liaqat Ali, is going to establish a market at the current site of the Aniqa clothes store, which he owns, in St James Street.

With Aniqa set to move to the Sovereign Shopping Centre, Mr Ali, who has traded at Dolphin Square since 1994, will open a new market on the site which would specialise in men’s, women’s and children’s clothes.

He said: “We’ve got lots of experience in running markets and stores, and we want to welcome traders from Dolphin Square to trade with us.

“Only time will tell if there is room for three markets, but at the end of the day the customer will want choices.”

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