Barnsley Market traders speak about return

Traders inside The Glass Works busy gearing up for 17 June reopening; outdoor traders already open

Barnsley Market’s indoor traders are busy gearing up for their return to The Glass Works on Wednesday 17 June, joining outdoor traders who are already open.

Food stalls including those selling meat and fish, fruit and veg and other essentials have been trading throughout the coronavirus pandemic, although non-essential retailers have been closed since the end of March.

However, following the latest government guidelines, traders specialising in confectionary, flowers, furniture, phone accessories and more are set to return in two weeks’ time.

Barnsley’s outdoor market reopened on Monday – with traders selling a variety of goods now open and trading. And indoor traders can’t wait to join them.

Barnsley Market traders said: “We’re massively grateful for the support of our customers. Even though most of us haven’t been able to trade during the pandemic because of government guidelines, we’ve had loads of messages of support, as have the essential food traders who've been able to continue trading.

“Some of us reopened in the outdoor market on Monday, and the rest of us can’t wait to join them when we start reopen on Wednesday 17 June.

“We appreciate every one of you and can’t wait to see you. The market might be a bit different when you come to see us again, but we’ve been working with the council to make sure it’s as safe as possible for you all.

“It's important that you all follow the safety measures in place, especially social distancing. Our outdoor traders have got their own measures in place, and indoor traders will have, too. You’ll see the messages on signage around our stalls.

“It may be strange at first, but we’ll be there to help. Thank you to those of you that have visited us outdoors since we opened back up; our indoor traders can’t wait to get back to serving you all either, and are looking forward to getting back to business on 17 June."

Safety measures such as social distancing, tannoy reminders, separate entrances and exits, a keep left system, directional signage and managing capacity inside the market will all be in place. Cashless payments will also be encouraged, and where this isn’t possible, customers will be encouraged to have the correct change ready.

Shoppers will be encouraged to visit alone and to adhere to social distancing throughout the market. Shopping visits should be carried out as quickly as possible to allow other shoppers to come into the market and to shop and support the traders. There will be limited access to public toilets and no seating in the market.

Initially, the market will operate on reduced opening hours of Wednesday to Saturday, 8.30am-3pm, this will be kept under review to balance safety and demand from shoppers.

Market Kitchen and close contact business (hairdressers, beauticians) won’t be open at this stage, until further details are announced from the government.

To help them through this difficult trading period, all indoor traders received a Small Business Rate Relief grant indoor from the government as part of the support for businesses announced by the chancellor in March.

All indoor traders have not been paying rents so far, and the rent break will be extended until 1 October – even if they resume trading on 17 June. All outdoor traders are also being supported by a grant from the council up to the equivalent of six months’ rent, which many have already received.

The traders added: “We’d like to thank the council for its support during this difficult time. We’ve been working together to make sure we can safely reopen and we’re grateful for the support we’ve received.

“We're getting through this pandemic by sticking together, and you, our fantastic customers, are a big reason why we'll come out of this stronger."

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