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St Johns Market has closed: Statement from Liverpool City Council

1 month ago

St Johns Market has closed: Statement from Liverpool City Council
Picture - Gareth Wiley/ Shutterstock

Liverpool City Council has today released a statement about the closure of St Johns Market in which they say they are ending the tenancy of traders with immediate effect.

Liverpool City Council says the decision to cease the 43 tenancies at St Johns Market follows a lengthy period of communication with the businesses operating at the Market, to recover more than £1.7m of unpaid rent and service charges dating back to August 2020.

The Council say they had offered the business owners the option of negotiation over the repayment of the debt, but regrettably did not receive a meaningful response, leaving the Council with no option but to close the Market.

As a result of non-payment, the cost to the Council of subsidising the Market, which is leased from St Johns Shopping Centre, now amounts to around £1m a year.  

All of the businesses will be invited to arrange a date and time with the Council to collect any stock left within the stall they operated from.

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

St Johns Shopping Centre will remain open for business.

Councillor Nick Small, Cabinet member for City Development, said:

“Regrettably, even after reminders were issued regarding the legal situation over non-payment of monies, the Council has been left with no option but to close St Johns Market.

“The business owners have now been informed of the situation and will be invited to collect their stock. The Council has also offered assistance to help find alternative retail locations for those who wish to continue to operate in the city centre.

“The Council has made this decision to close the stalls very reluctantly, every non-paying business owner was given plenty of time and opportunity to enter into a meaningful dialogue.

“Given the annual cost to the Council of leasing the site for the Market is around £1million a year, it is no longer a viable situation for the businesses to continue to pay no rent, service charges and to offer only a repayment offer of 33% for past and future costs. This offer does not represent best value to our residents and has been rejected by the Council.

“Each non-paying business owner owes tens of thousands of pounds to the Council and we cannot continue to subsidise their businesses. We have a duty to collect and it’s not fair to continue in this way when we have vital services to protect and other businesses across the city are fully paying their way.”

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