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St John’s Market to reopen

After two weeks of protests, Scottie Press can exclusively confirm St John’s Markets will reopen tomorrow to coincide with its 813th birthday.


Traders are said to be “thrilled and excited” to be returning to work after the market closed back in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Concerns were raised for their wellbeing during protests last week when several traders revealed they were at “breaking point” and not in the financial state to survive much longer.

 

Liverpool City Council were criticised for their lack of consultation with stallholders, although the two parties have now come to an agreement.

 

Traders are expected to return under the condition that they contribute a fair rent, while the council have said they will work with stallholders to bring the market up to a better standard.

 

“We hope this is the start of a bright future for the partnership of traders and LCC.”

 

A spokesperson for the market said traders are looking forward to working with the council and promised it will be “naturally Covid secure” upon reopening.

 

“We hope this is the start of a bright future for the partnership of traders and LCC,” a spokesperson said.

 

“We are very lucky that St John’s market, with its wide aisles and high roof space which creates natural air flows, is one of the safest spaces in Liverpool to shop in current Covid times.

 

“With the use of sanitisers, masks and good common sense, the traders offer a safe and secure shopping space to welcome all their old friends with social distancing recommended at all times.”

Traders protest at Mount Pleasant. Image by Lewis Jennings

The council had previously informed Scottie Press that the market was closed due to maintenance work.

 

A council spokesperson said: “The works we needed to complete in order for St John’s Market to reopen have now been finished, and traders are aware it is open for use from Thursday 27 August.”

 

Traders also thanked Cllr Richard Kemp, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool, for helping them make a fair offer to the council.

 

“I am delighted that St John’s Market is opening again,” said Kemp, adding the market is one of the “safest indoor areas” for shopping.

 

“Having been there on Monday I know that the traders are ready to go and they have all sorts of good offers and products ready to sell. Now we need the people of Liverpool to get back in there.

 

“I have also asked a senior member of the council’s staff to join me for a walk around next week so that they can consider a way forward in the medium term which is fair for the traders, fair for the council and which will meet the needs of those shoppers who see the market as a social and community centre almost as much as (a) place to buy things.”

 

St John’s Market has supplied over 40 generations of Liverpool people and served as many as 200m people in this time. It is a Royal Charter Market and was established by King John in 1207 on August 27 at the founding of Liverpool.

 

The oldest trading family in St John’s Market date back to over 100 years ago. The Laphans of Chicken George first began operating as an egg stall in 1914.