Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Market Hardware Store to Close as Rent Costs Rise

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Market Hardware Store to Close as Rent Costs Rise

Article excerpt

Byline: Hannah Graham Reporter

TRADERS in Newcastle's historic Grainger Market have banded together to support a business which has accused the council of "turning their backs on loyal tenants".

A hardware store has stood in the Grainger Market since 1909 and, for more than 30 years, it has been known as Docherty's.

But in a blow to the market, costs have increased and the stall is set to close on January 30.

Docherty's director, Melissa Howlett, expressed frustration with the way Newcastle City Council, which owns the market, had handled the stall's situation.

She said: "I have contacted Newcastle City Council to ask if they could reduce our rent, as we have been trading in the market for many years and have always paid our rent on time.

"We see new businesses coming in and being offered lower rents or rent-free periods but, as a loyal tenants, this is not offered to us."

She added: "We feel that they are turning their backs on the loyal tenants that have made the market what it is renowned for." Ms Howlett said the in-creased cost of using the space outside of the confines of their unit for displaying products, which she claimed was "essential" to the business, had made staying in the market no longer viable.

In a request for a rent reduction, Docherty's management pointed to a reduction in footfall, blamed partly on outdoor Christmas markets, and argued that the council should do more to promote the market.

The request continued: "I would hope that someone within the management of the Grainger Market/Newcastle City Council appreciates our store for what it is - we are really proud of the presentation of the store and we have a lot of tourists come and take photos of our shop, we believe it would be a great loss to the market and to Newcastle if we were to leave.

"However, we cannot continue to run a business that is not making any money."

The closure will result in job losses for some of the people employed on the stall.

The Grainger Market Traders Association has since voted to write to the council, suggesting that they look again at what could be done to accommodate Docherty's. …

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