Traders for the new Darley Street Market will be chosen because of what they offer rather than how long they might have been trading – Councillors have been told.
The new market will open next September, and when it does both Oastler Market and Kirkgate Market will shut.
At a meeting of Bradford Council’s Regeneration and Environment Committee last week, members were told that the first traders for the new market will be revealed in the coming weeks.
The market will have non-food stalls on the ground floor, fresh food on the first floor and a food court serving hot food and drinks on the top floor.
There will be 79 stalls and at the meeting, Market Manager Colin Wolstenholme pointed out that not every existing trader was guaranteed a space in Darley Street.
He told members: “It is about getting the offer right.
“We had 261 expressions of interest and 120 formal applications. There are going to be 79 stalls in the market.
“Not everyone will be successful in the application. The market will only be successful if we link it in with the skills of the traders.
“The aim will be to get the best traders from the two markets. Some traders won’t be able to meet our aspirations.
“Of the 120 traders who have applied, 40 per cent of them are new businesses to Bradford.”
He said the first successful traders for the market will be announced in November.
The committee heard that current traders who were unsuccessful in their application would be offered support to move to another location in Bradford, or the Council’s other market in Keighley.
Mr Wolstenholme said traders would be offered a three-year lease.
This will be extended if traders can prove they provide good customer service.
He added: “If a trader is not performing then we will need to help them leave rather than insist they stay. If traders don’t perform well we know there will be someone queuing up to take their place.”
He said it was important traders had an active social media presence, adding: “The days of getting customers just by them walking past your shop are gone.”
Chair of the Committee Kamran Hussain (Lab, Toller) said long-standing traders may not be au fait with creating an online presence or other modern requirements of market trading.
Mr Wolstenholme said traders have been offered free training in recent years.
When questioned about whether this process meant long serving traders might not make the cut, he said: “If every single trader applied we couldn’t take them all.
“It might be the case that we’ve got two established mobile phone sellers in Oastler and two in Kirkgate – we don’t want four in the new market.
“You can’t assume that if you’ve been a trader for 30 years you’ll have a right to trade in the new market. There is a danger of putting traders in because of their longevity rather than because of what they offer.”
Councillor Alex Ross Shaw, executive for Regeneration, planning and transport, said: “It has to be the best of Bradford, from every corner of the district.”