‘Use us, or lose us’, traders warn

MARKET traders and shopkeepers in Mexborough have launched a campaign to fight proposals for a huge megastore which they claim will have a “disastrous” effect on trade for small businesses in the town.

They fear plans by Kier Property for a multi-million pound supermarket near the train station will drain trade away from the centre, leaving it a ghost town.

They revealed their ‘Save the High Street’ campaign plans to the public during an open meeting last week.

Bill Lawrence, chairman of the campaign, said: “We are trying to find our identify, we are trying to find our soul again.

“It will be a David and Goliath campaign in that these are multi-national companies.”

Market trader Hattie Norman added: “If shoppers do not start using us, you are going to lose us. If we do not act now our children, and our grandchildren, will be left with a ghost town.

“The building of this supermarket will have a disastrous effect. The proposed site is the problem, instead of bringing us trade, it will syphon our trade down there.”

Councillors Sue Phillips and David Holland said there were arguments for and against the proposal, but added they want to see town centre trade protected.

Traders will now put up posters around the town with the slogan ‘Shop in town, or close it down. Your community needs you.’

Kier Property has submitted a planning application for the £10 million pound store, set to be built on the site of the former United Carpets building, previously the South Yorkshire Times office.

The company states the development will create more than 200 jobs, and will help to keep people in the town to do their main food shopping who currently go elsewhere.

Director Tom Gilman said: “If we can deliver a new store here, then it will encourage some of these people to use other local businesses in the same trip, which could be a real boost to the town centre and market.”