September 11th seems to be the global ‘bad news’ day.
While most people will consider this the 10th anniversary of the Twin Towers attack, more locally, it spells the end of Hulme and Moss Side market in its current form.
September 11th is the date most of the traders at Moss Side Market have been given to quit their units by the building’s landlord, Geraud.
Geraud, who have run the market since 2001, will radically alter the internal structure of the building, with the majority of the space (currently 70 business units) becoming discount store ‘B&M’ and 8 Hulme High Street-facing shop fronts. Additionally there are plans for an outdoor structure to be built to accommodate some of the traders.
Plans for this changes became public over the summer, when worried traders set-up a facebook group to highlight their concerns.
The market, originally Moss Side market, was historically based at the old Moss Side Precinct. When that building was demolished the market temporarily based in the ‘Hot Pot’ pub before being relaunched in 2001 at its current location on the Hulme High Street.
Since then, the market has struggled with lack of take up of units and disappointing customer numbers, which has led to losses for Gerauds.
The traders have responded to these points by accusing the landlord of not understanding the community (it was initially relaunched as a ‘continental’ market with ‘lots of cheese’ before it was changed to reflect Hulme and Moss Sides more multi-ethnic community) the market was based in, the lack of promotion of the market (requests to the Council for help with this met with no response) and high costs .
Former trader Sally Wright, commenting on the recent years of the market, charged that the landlord had allowed the market to run down, making it unattractive for new businesses to set up. They also asked if it was even legal for the building to be changed into a supermarket and shops. It was pointed out that the land has a covenant on it, which means it has to be used as a traditional market.
The Hulme and Moss Side market has been a focal point of the community, a recognition of which is reflected in a covenant being granted.
Candy Kintu, 27, who runs the Candy Scents stall, said: "Everybody’s absolutely gutted about what Groupe Geraud are doing.
"It’s all about money for them – but it will tear our community apart. There has been a market here for decades and it’s one of the things that keeps the Hulme community connected."
Recent news and interviews with traders indicated that 7 businesses will take up the new shop fronts being built.
The rest of the traders were uncertain about what would happen next. Some thought that they may be able to move their businesses outdoors, others not.
When asked about the future one trader commented, ‘What future?’.