‘Surprise’ as Piries Place market is axed

JPCT 100514 S14201255x  Horsham. Piries Place. Horsham market. Gordon Roach -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141005-124730001
JPCT 100514 S14201255x Horsham. Piries Place. Horsham market. Gordon Roach -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141005-124730001

The operator of Piries Place Market says he is ‘sad’ to be pulling his stalls out of the town after nearly a decade.

Gordon Roach was ‘surprised’ to learn that his craft stalls - which visit the area every Friday and Saturday - will be axed.

The market, which has been a haven for small independent businesses, has been in Piries Place since 2006.

It was started in a bid to drive footfall in Piries Place.

The last market will take place on Saturday June 21.

“It comes as a surprise,” said Mr Roach.

“We haven’t had any problems, it’s run smoothly and the trade has been there for some time. The public seem to like it.”

Mr Roach, who looks after a number of other businesses including Beeches Buffet, said he was not given a reason as to why the market has been axed.

He continued: “It’s only a small market but you’d be surprised at how many people it affects.

“Some times people forget that those who do the markets have lives. They all have to pay the mortgage and run cars and if something happens abruptly like this it affects them. It’s disappointing.

“I think in general markets are an asset and they shouldn’t be used as a commodity. They are moved around and about and some times people forget there’s a lot behind the scenes.”

Over the years the market has raised thousands of pounds for good causes.

As well as the loss of future charity events the market’s departure puts the annual Piries Place Christmas lights in jeopardy.

The news has been met with disappointment among Piries Place traders. But some say the market could do with updating.

Chris Boughen, manager at Broadbridges, said: “It’s quite sad to see them go but it has deteriorated over the last few years. It’s almost become like a jumble sale out there.”

Jillie Cavalcante, shop assistant at Lowerlodge Candles, said: “I think the stalls were looking a bit tatty. If they had nicer stalls there it would help because they really don’t attract people at the moment.

“The empty stalls don’t help either because it doesn’t look great and disrupts footfall.”

Another traded branded the area a ‘forgotten place’.

Wendy Bryant, shop assistant, Picture Framing Service, added: “I think it’s a shame although having said that we would like a better market out there like a farmers’ market or something. In the past they have done some great things but now it seems that Piries Place has become an almost forgotten place.”

A number of businesses have left Piries in recent years, leaving behind barren units.

This includes Rosie Lee & Me children’s boutique and coffee shop. The owners said a heart-breaking farewell last September after an up-hill struggle to pay the monthly business rates and rent.

However, life is slowly being breathed back into the square.

Earlier this month my35 gym opened to the public. On Saturday May 24 children’s shop Fiesta Tots will open in the unit once occupied by Raspberry Laces.

Plans are in place for a new cocktail-styled bar next to Look Fantastic hairdressers. A sign outside reads: “Ee’s not dead, he’s resting!?”

The County Times contacted the Piries Place management team to ask why the market had been axed but did not receive a comment before this paper went to press.