Mayor steps in to help locked-out Perry Barr market traders

Andy Street
Andy Street said he had written to shopping centre owners to try to help the traders who complained they faced a wall of silence over their futures

The mayor of the West Midlands has sought the assistance of a shopping centre's owners in a bid to aid traders fearing for their livelihoods after being locked out of a market hall.

Stallholders at Market Village, based at the One Stop centre in Perry Barr, Birmingham, have been unable to access the hall since 12 January.

They complain they are in limbo, and cannot recover expensive stock.

Andy Street said he did not want to see businesses suffer at a difficult time.

But traders have said they can get no answer from market hall operator Perry Barr Market Properties Limited, which went out of business, leaving them just hours, they said earlier this month, to vacate the site.

Mr Street, Conservative, said he had written to the owners of One Stop to see whether they could find a "sensible short-term arrangement" to keep the independent market traders going.

"The traders have said to me 'this isn't right, we've not done anything wrong, we're solvent businesses'," the mayor told BBC Radio WM.

"I don't want to see any business go under, particularly at this difficult time."

Stallholders at market village
Stallholders have been unable to access their goods at Market Village for nearly two weeks

Mr Street said he would follow up on the letter to try to find an "absolute solution", adding he had also been speaking to Labour's Birmingham Perry Barr MP, Khalid Mahmood.

"For people who come to the shopping centre, they love the market element of it, so let's find a way of coming together with a common sense solution to keep that market," Mr Street said.

Perry Barr Market Properties Limited has appointed administrators Cowgills to help place it into voluntary liquidation, with a proposed date of 15 February.

Dal Bains
Dal Bains and his wife have both been working at the Market Village for 17 years

Dal Bains, who runs Second Skin Clothing, said he and his wife had been working at Market Village for 17 years.

He described the situation as a "nightmare", adding they both had "no income coming in" when they needed to pay for their mortgage.

"While [the market] has been closed, we've had nothing, not a penny come through in the last week and a half," he said.

"The more people help us, the better," he added of Mr Street's gesture. "Everybody does want to get it open, it's just a matter of time."

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