EFFORTS to improve Kirkgate Market in Leeds need to be careful to avoid ruining its atmosphere (“Historic market may be reduced and moved from council control”, Yorkshire Post, July 25).
Of course, it is perfectly right from time to time to seek to renovate and improve every institution, but it must be done with care and sensitivity.
We do not want to replicate in Leeds the disastrous failure of Bradford’s similar plans which brought the Rawson Market to an untimely end.
Those of us who were involved in successfully opposing the City Council’s attempts to destroy the spirit of Kirkgate Market 35 years ago are well aware that the bureaucratic mind simply does not like the slightly anarchic atmosphere of a traditional market, with the stallholders shouting their wares, the rather higgledy-piggledy layout of stalls and the opportunity for a variety of different traders to come on a daily basis with a range of competitive prices.
It is these components that make a market popular and a success with customers – whether or not there is a posh shopping development nearby.
By all means discuss the size of the market and look for sympathetic management but be sure to create the conditions for the kind of market that will attract the loyalty of its many thousands of existing and potential customers.