St Johns Market – FAQs

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In light of the news St Johns Market has closed for the foreseeable future, here are some FAQs to help explain the situation:

What’s happened to St Johns Market?
The Market has closed from Monday, 11 March.

Why has it closed?
The businesses within the market owed the Council more than £1.7m in rent and service charges, dating back to August 2020.
The Council has a duty to collect all debts and asked the businesses last October to pay the outstanding monies and invited them into negotiations. The Council reminded the business owners in January and again in February to enter into negotiations over the debt.
Unfortunately, an offer was made but it was deemed unviable and regrettably, as a result, the tenancies have been stopped.

What did the businesses offer?
13 businesses of the 43 non-paying businesses made no offer. 30 made a repayment offer, last week, of 33% for past and future costs. This offer is the same made during the mediation process in 2022. It does not represent best value to our residents and has therefore been rejected by the Council.

How much does the Market cost the Council?
Due to the non-payment of rent and service charges, the Market now costs the Council more than £1m a year to operate. That is not sustainable given the unprecedented pressures on the Council’s budget to support key services.

What happens now to the traders?
All of the businesses will be invited to arrange a date and time to collect any stock left within the stall they operated from.

The Council has also offered assistance to help find alternative retail locations for those who wish to continue to operate in the city.

One business has been making payments throughout this period and the Council will look to undertake negotiations to relocate that stall.

What about those employed by the stall owners?
Anyone employed on the stalls will need to speak to the owner of the business to discuss next steps.

Will the Market reopen?
The Market hall is closed for the foreseeable future. The Council remains a tenant of St John’s Shopping Centre and is committed to a viable and sustainable future use for the market hall site.
The Council, which has 63 years left on its lease, will now review all feasible options.

Does this mean St Johns Shopping Centre is closed?
No. The shopping centre is a different entity.
It remains unaffected by this decision and continues to operate under its normal hours.

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