Kingston Ancient Market Renovations Frustrate Traders

Renovations to Kingston’s Ancient Market have garnered some furious reviews from local traders, despite Kingston Council’s claim of “business as usual” during construction.

The renovations, which began in September 2013 and are due to be completed by the end of March 2014, have frustrated working conditions for those who make their living off the market.

Dave Prantice, a trader in Kingston’s Ancient Market, said: “They’re making it impossible for me to work. They haven’t got a clue.

“They listen to you, but they don’t take any notice.”

Kingston Council stated that renovations are intended to help the market trade more successfully by providing improvements to the market, including new granite paving, street furniture, and lighting scheme. 

Antony Goshollt, another trader in Kingston Market, said: “We haven’t got a clue on how the designs are going to turn out or anything. They haven’t consulted us.”

The Council says that the renovations to the Ancient Market are a crucial part of their Kingston Futures initiative, a “coordinated programme of regeneration and place shaping projects”.

Some traders, however, are looking forward to the end of the new developments. Azeez from Exotic Tangerine said: “The new market will be nice. Attractive.”

The Mayor of London’s Outer London Fund, which aims to encourage economic growth and bring vibrancy to high street places across London, has contributed just over £2m to key projects within Kingston, including the Ancient Market renovations.

Kingston Council has also contributed just under £3m from their own capital resources to the Ancient Market Project.

Once completed, the new market will provide 29 permanent stalls and space for 24 pop up market stalls, compared to 25 permanent market stalls previously. 

The market has been temporarily relocated south of the Market House while new stalls are constructed.

The War Memorial Gardens will play host to Kingston’s Christmas Market for a one off basis for 2013.

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