Nottingham City Council has this evening (Monday 11) met with traders at the Victoria Centre Market to update them on the current situation.

The authority announced last year that it intended to exit the lease it currently holds on the market due to increasing costs and subsidies required to operate it into the future.

Negotiations with asset managers Global Mutual, on behalf of the owners of the Victoria Shopping Centre, and traders have been both complex and protracted, given the need for all sides to put forward their views.

At this evening’s meeting, it was confirmed:

  • Stallholders will be able to continue trading until summer 2024 when the market will close down
  • No new traders will now be taken on
  • Further conversations about next steps will be given to traders early in the New Year, including compensation payments where appropriate
  • Negotiations will continue with Global Mutual about terminating the lease agreement

The council leases the market space in the Victoria Centre and provides a large annual subsidy. On top of this, it is estimated that substantial funding would need to be invested for longer-term improvements to help it operate effectively – meaning the total cost to keep the market running for the remaining 50 years of the lease would be significant.

Victoria Market has been operating from its current site since 1971 and in recent years, it has not been performing well and is less than half occupied.

In 2015, there was a six-fold increase in service charges placed on the market and it was also badly affected by the Covid pandemic, despite the council providing support to traders through Government grants to reduce and spread the cost of rent.

Councillor Pavlos Kotsonis, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “We understand how difficult the past year has been for stallholders and are sorry that it has taken so long to provide more clarity on the situation. Budgetary factors and internal discussions have undoubtedly delayed the decision-making process, and we would have liked to be able to update traders before now.

“In its heyday, Victoria Market was a busy, popular venue but sadly it has been under-used for years. There is an ever-decreasing number of loyal customers who retain great affection for it, but, more widely, people’s shopping habits have changed. This is a national trend, not unique to Nottingham, and the effect of the pandemic has been significant in that.

“However, increased service charges meant the council has had to subsidise its operation for many years, on top of a number of traders falling into rent arrears. In light of further spending controls currently in place, the sort of investment that would be needed is something we simply cannot meet.

“I hope the meeting today has given stallholders the clarity they’ve been seeking on the future of the market, and our officers will continue to work closely with them over the coming months to offer help and support ahead of its closure.”