Swansea market traders to receive new cash boost

Traders at Swansea Market are to receive another cash injection to help them through the current lockdown.

Swansea Council’s cabinet approved a package of measures that involves rent subsidies of up to 70%. They will be backdated to the middle of November 2020 and will run to the end of the financial year.

It follows cancellation of rent payments and other subsidies totalling more than £600,000 since the pandemic started last March.

Robert Francis-Davies, Cabinet member for Investment, Regeneration and Tourism, said there was probably no council-operated indoor market in England and Wales which was being better supported.

Together with the latest rent subsidy and funding for market improvements such as new public toilets, improved entrances and development of a smart new multi-use central area, the council will have invested more than £1m in the market this year.

He said the latest steps were recognition that market traders will continue to face challenges in the months ahead and that the council was committed to the market’s recovery and success after the pandemic.

Some traders have continued operating during lockdown because they provide essential services like food. But the vast majority have had to close temporarily.

Cllr Francis-Davies said: “We recognise that the months ahead will continue to be unpredictable which is why we’ve introduced a rent subsidy programme that is worth a total of £217,000 to the traders during the current Alert Level 4 period.

“Apart from the direct and indirect support we’ve put in place, many market traders have been entitled to claim a series Welsh Government business grants worth up to £10,000 each in some cases.

“It is hoped that in addition to the grants and support available to traders from Welsh Government, this further rent subsidy will make a real difference.”

The report to Cabinet said the subsidy programme would strike a balance between generating income to cover essential market overheads and continuing to support traders through the pandemic.

Last year Swansea Market was named Britain’s best large indoor market in the Great British Market Awards.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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