Leeds Kirkgate market losing £709,800 a year from empty stalls

Leeds Kirkgate Market is losing £709,800 a year in income from stalls lying empty, according to a Leeds City Council report.

The report, to be presented at a meeting of the Council’s Scrutiny Board (Regeneration) next week, says the figure represents a combination of lost rent and service charges not paid on 78 empty units in the market.

The figures have been made known as the Council is preparing to announce the findings of a team of consultants brought in to help develop plans for the future ownership and management of the market.

The draft findings of consultants Quarterbridge Project Management are currently under review and will be presented to the Council’s executive board “in the near future”, the report says.

The next meeting of the executive board is scheduled to be held on 10th February.

Campaign group the Friends of Kirkgate Market has been urging the Council to lower rents for stallholders, increase its investment in the market and give traders a bigger say in its running.

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6 Responses to Leeds Kirkgate market losing £709,800 a year from empty stalls

  1. Simon Cooke says:

    It isn’t a loss (although the Market may be loss-making) but at best an opportunity cost. You are right though, the current leases are little different from those you would offer for a small shop. Yes, this is Leeds City Centre. Yes, it’s an iconic building. But that doesn’t stop it being a market – which needs flexible leases on a veriety of terms that don’t tie the new tenant into an expensive rent they can’t get out of.

    Leeds Council still treat the place as a combination cash cow and shopping centre – it’s neither

    • It may not be a loss, but the Council sees it as such (the first paras are reported speech, let down by a sloppy headline which should have had “losing” in quotes). Apart from which, yes and yes.

  2. I think this report is probably setting the council up to be in position to sell it off. It’s a real shame they cannot work out a successful management plan

  3. Not sure that this particular Scrutiny Board report is setting the council up to be able to sell the market off (if that’s what you mean).

    It’s more that the Scrutiny Board genuinely wanted answers to some questions about how the market works: how many stalls are empty; how does the service charge work; and how much income would have been earned had all the stalls been occupied. They’d asked council officers responsible for the market at a previous meeting…and they didn’t know. Hmmm.

  4. Peace says:

    That vacancy rate is much better than the rest of the city centre which stands at 22%.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/leeds/2011/feb/16/figures-show-leeds-shop-vacancies-increase

    The market also makes an annual profit of ~£2mn. One of the key issues is that this money has been used to pay for other council services and not re-invested in the market.

    http://www.leeds.gov.uk/files/Internet2007/2011/21/kirkgate%20market%20%281%29.pdf

  5. Bywater blog says:

    This figure of a £2 million profit is sited in different places, but not backed up by evidence!!

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