PLANS are being put in place to find Prestatyn’s traders new places to do business after the town’s market closed last week.

Trade ceased at Prestatyn market, on Gas Works Lane, on Thursday, November 18 after it was sold by Northern Markets to make way for a new Home Bargains shop in its place.

But stall holders at the market, which opened in 1973, may have opportunities to go elsewhere, including a smaller-scale indoor market at a Prestatyn holiday camp, Ellesmere Port and Flintshire.

Discussions are also ongoing with Denbighshire County Council (DCC) to find a new permanent home in Prestatyn for the traders.

Paul Ridley is director of Cabinz CIC, a reused building materials social enterprise, and is spearheading the campaign to help relocate the traders.

Paul visited and has spoke to representatives of Ellesmere Port market about the possibility of some traders moving there, but said the main aim remains to re-house the traders elsewhere in Prestatyn.

Paul said: “I had a very promising e-mail from the manager at the market and a long chat with her.

“I don’t see it as the end of the battle; it’s handy to have them at this time of year, because a lot of them go very slowly anyway.

“It’s a matter of preparing and getting something going again in North Wales in the spring. I’m going to continue talking to DCC and surrounding councils.”

The site of the old Prestatyn market was located less than a five-minute walk from both the town’s bus and train station; a major factor in why it was so accessible to out-of-town buyers and sellers.

Rhyl Journal: The market also held car boot sales and was open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.The market also held car boot sales and was open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The market, which also held car boot sales, was open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and has been comprised of roughly 150 stalls.

Paul, who has been both a trader and a buyer in the past at Prestatyn market, also highlighted the importance of any new market remaining in the centre of the town, as well as the next site promoting the re-use of goods.

He added: “It’s essential. I talked to a taxi driver and they said it brings in so many tourists from the holiday camps. They came to Prestatyn, and the market and car boot sale was one of the main sites to see. Most of them are working-class people; they love a rummage.

“I’ve given a lot of my trading time for Christmas to trying to keep the market going, so I’ve got to knuckle down and do what I can.

“It’s really important that re-use doesn’t get lost in recycling. Recycling is destroying it, ultimately, even if some of it gets turned into something else. The people at reuse markets are doing a green thing – it’s waste reduction, and I hate waste!

“My last conversation with DCC was just saying that we haven’t found anywhere (in Prestatyn yet), but we’ll keep looking, and that we were going to Ellesmere Port.

“The more publicity we can get about sending people to Ellesmere Port, the better, but we hope to come back (to Prestatyn).”

Indeed, a spokesperson for DCC confirmed last week: “We have been in discussions with a representative acting on the traders’ behalf.

“So far, no suitable site has been identified. Any potential site for a temporary market in the town would be subject to the planning process.”

Last week, traders at the market said they were ‘annoyed’ and ‘devastated’ by its closure to make way for the Home Bargains store, which is set to include a garden centre and is expected to create more than 70 jobs.

Diane Jones, who was a trader at Prestatyn market for a decade and supervisor at the site for the last few years, is also helping Paul in trying to find a new site within the town.

Acknowledging that Ellesmere Port may be too far for some traders to relocate to, even temporarily, Diane has also asked for help from the Funship Market in Mostyn, Holywell, which owner Antony Rowley was happy to provide.

Diane said: “I’ve spoken to Antony, and he said that he’s willing to take traders there to keep them going.

“But we need Prestatyn; it needs to be Prestatyn market, so the council needs to sort something out for the community.

“I’m thinking more of the traders; we’re all trying to find somewhere for them. It’s like a family.

“On the last day (Thursday), when the TV cameras were there, that place was full, as it is every Thursday and Sunday. A lot of pensioners are on their own, and it’s their day out, to meet people.

“Some days, they don’t buy things, but they all meet and all the traders are friendly and have banter with the public.

“It (the market on its last day) was packed; everybody was hugging and so upset.

“The council knew the market was being sold and that the planning permission had been signed off on months and months ago… why didn’t they look for alternative places to move it?”

A spokesperson for DCC said in response to this: “We are fully aware of the traders’ concerns and are continuing discussions with them to find a suitable resolution.

“After hearing that trading was finishing this month, we are making every effort to support traders in finding a suitable alternative site to help them to continue their trade.

“Planning permission to erect a Home Bargains store on the private market site was granted in August 2020.”

Rhyl Journal: A Home Bargains store will be built in the market's placeA Home Bargains store will be built in the market's place

Antony added that there would be no issue with traders from Prestatyn setting up their stalls at his market, which is open every Sunday from 7am until 3pm.

He also stressed that there is no need for traders to book stalls or tables in advance, adding that they merely need to ‘turn up on the day’.

Antony said: “We’ve got space for loads of traders.

“Diane rang me and I said: ‘People who want to turn up, we can give them a space; no problem. We’ve got room for car booters and a proper market traders’ section.

“They just have to turn up on the day. The gates open at 6.45am on Sunday morning, so anybody who wants a space just has to turn up and they’ll be given a space. Anybody who wants to turn up, they can do.”

In the meantime, a number of Prestatyn traders set up stalls at the indoor Christmas market at ‘Salford by the Sea’ children’s holiday camp in the town on Sunday, November 21.

Doug Walsh is co-owner of the camp, which offers holidays in Prestatyn to children living in poverty within Salford and Greater Manchester, and put on the market not only to support the traders at a difficult time, but to bring in much-needed funds for his camp, which is a non-profit registered charity.

With almost 30 tables set up, as well as a tombola, bottle stall and refreshments provided throughout the day, Doug felt the market proved a great success, and said there could be potential for this sort of market to become a more regular event.

Doug said: “It went well; a couple of hiccups, but apart from them, it went really well. Everybody loved what they were doing.

“The atmosphere was fantastic; we did food in the kitchen and that went down really well. One of them (Prestatyn market traders) said it was absolutely brilliant, and reckoned he’d done similar business to what he did on the market.

“Once the camp opens up to the schoolchildren next year, we’re working about 14-15-hour days just running the camp. So, this market, like I’ve always said, would only have to be on a Sunday.

“A few people asked me again would I consider a car boot on a Thursday, and I’ve said I’ll consider it. What I don’t want is a load of stuff left on my site, and that’s what sometimes happens.

“I’ve not got the facilities to shift it, and then if I’ve got to take it to a council tip, it’s going to cost me. The interests of the camp have always got to be number one.”

A second event for traders will be taking place at the camp, though, on Saturday, December 4 between 9.30am and 1.30pm, after Doug said a woman had rented a room at the site with a capacity of ‘about 15 tables’.

Both Diane and Paul were also at Sunday’s indoor Christmas market, and Diane added: “We did our best just trying to give our customers somewhere to go.

“It was a very good day; Prestatyn people do support charities and it went very well. The amount of gifts I received off customers (on the market’s last day)... a lot of which I donated into the tombola at the weekend.

“We’ll all give it a go because we all like to support everything; it’s good for his (Doug’s) charity, to keep his camp going, until the council comes up and sorts some sort of a market out for us.”

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