Doncaster markets provider MAM branded 'a disgrace' as trader gets notice to leave and has rent hiked in 'final insult'
A trader who is being forced to leave Doncaster’s Wool Market had her rent hiked months before departing and said the company running it is ‘a disgrace’.
Stacey Atkinson, aged 55, who runs Reflections Ladies Clothing, has hit out at market contractor Markets Asset Management Doncaster (MAM Doncaster) for forcing her to leave after they denied there were no plans to move traders.
She was also notified her rent is going up before she leaves in January and called it the ‘final insult’.
But after coming under fire, MAM has now U-turned and said Ms Atkinson can carry on with her previous rental payments until she has to leave.
Doncaster Council and MAM are planning to build a bowling alley and arcade to replace retail traders which is set to open next year.
Retail traders have been offered to move into the Corn Exchange but only one trader has taken up the offer.
But Ms Atkinson praised the council for helping her gain new premises in Lazarus Court after she ‘received no help’ from MAM. She added the offer of the Corn Exchange ‘wasn’t a patch’ on the Wool Market.
She added that her stall was thriving in the Wool Market and did not agree with statements from both parties that retail wasn’t doing well.
The trader also said she felt ‘cheated’ after agreeing to take part in a video promoting the Wool Market for Doncaster’s city status only to be notified three weeks later she was being turfed out.
“The whole process has been an absolute disgrace and putting my rent up was the final insult,” Ms Atkinson said.
“I have paid full rent, I’ve never missed a payment which was extortionate anyway.
“What these people forget is that myself and others paid rent all the way through lockdown, there was no relief or anything and the building was closed. I found this hard with no income being self employed as it is.
“I also took part in a video for Doncaster Council a few weeks ago bidding for city status. I said how good the Wool Market was and then three weeks later, they came to me and gave me notice to leave which was hard to swallow – I felt cheated.
Michelle Hobson, MAM’s general manager for Doncaster said: “As is standard practice the lease had a mutual three-month break clause allowing either party the option of giving three months’ notice.
“We have engaged with our traders on the market redevelopment throughout. Due to the creation of an exciting new leisure zone alongside our independent street food traders, we activated the three months’ notice to this trader on October 26 which means they can continue trading at the Wool Market until January 29, 2022.
“We offered the trader a place in the iconic Corn Exchange which is almost at full capacity and initially the trader verbally agreed but has since said they are intending to set up in a shop unit.
“The trader was on a new trader incentive rent deal which came to end a few months ago but as a gesture of good will we have said this can remain in place until the trader leaves.
“We hope they reconsider as we don’t want to see them go. At no point have we received an official complaint over this matter and wish the trader well for the future.”