European Union rules have prevented a lifeline being thrown to the struggling Wednesday market in Sevenoaks. Both the Wednesday and Saturday markets used to be run by a private operator on behalf of the landowner, Sevenoaks District Council. But the firm went bust in 2013 owing the district a considerable sum of money. At the that point Sevenoaks Town Council stepped in with a bid to run the markets that was accepted. Initially the Wednesday market, which is held behind the bus station in Buckhurst Lane, was successful and the town council succeeded in recruiting a number of new traders. But over the years, they have withdrawn, and the market was particularly hard-hit by the closure of the Buckhurst car park for redevelopment, when visitor numbers dropped. They have not returned even though redevelopment is now complete. Currently there are only three regular traders. The town council feels the situation is unsustainable: it has to pay the district council an annual fee of £25,985, which is the equivalent of £499.72 a week. The rent it receives from the traders is only £197.50 a week. So the market has to be subsidised by income from the Saturday market and town council’s… Read full this story
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