Open Market loaned £61k to balance books

Posted On 09 Oct 2015 at 12:34 pm

The Open Market is set to be given a loan of £61,000 after high business rates and low take up of temporary stalls combined to stop it balancing its books. 

 

 Brighton and Hove City Council is being asked to approve the loan, which will be repaid at an interest rate of about 4.6% with a two-year referral. 

The market will also put together a recovery plan to reduce running costs, increase income and strenghten governance, which will be agreed by council officers. 

A report to next Thursday’s policy and resources committee says: “When the market opened the CIC did not have sufficient cashflow to support startup costs and the initial two year period of establishing the business and moving into profit.

“Ethical Property Company offered initial financial support by way of a deferred repayment loan to cover these early years.

“While there has been good take up of permanent market stalls, higher than predicted business rates and lower than expected take up of temporary stalls within the market square have combined to delay the market moving into profit and a further two to three year period is forecast to be required.”

The market, which opened in June last year, is run by the Brighton Open Market Community Interest Company (CIC), which is made up of traders, the council, The Hyde Group and Ethical Property Company. 

The market was a key part of the ongoing regeneration of London Road, which has since been dubbed the new Shoreditch.

The CIC declined to comment.

  1. dave in saltdean Reply

    How come this wretched council will lend money to the open market but not to the lido?

  2. Liz Henwood Reply

    I would LOVE to have stall there, but in the week from my research, footfall is too low to justify even the £20 pitch fee. The Pitch fees are generally too high for most casual sellers – that will be why there is slow/poor uptake. £40 on a Saturday is way too expensive. They are even higher for many ‘special events’ where you’d think they would want to encourage stall holders. I have a little stall selling small handmade crochet toys and I would have to sell an awful lot to make having a stall worth it. Currently I pay £15 at Sussex Uni on a Tuesday and have very high footfall at a well established market.

  3. Local trader Reply

    Why don’t they open more. I finish work at six and would love to go most days for but as they all close before most people finish work we are still going to supermarkets. Half the stalls are closed on a Sunday too. Next to Zero social media. Think it’s being run by people stuck in the past. If they opened until 7pm they would get trade from workers on their way home. Pretty obvious really.

  4. Becks Reply

    So the council do lend money to CIC’s. Buy why not help Saltdean Lido?

  5. Pingback: 50p for the meter: Saltdean Lido development on hold 02/10/2015 | The Saltdean Zone

  6. Warren Morgan Reply

    We will lend money to the Lido, but not just give it to them as they are asking at the moment. We have representation on the Open Market CIC Board, but not on the Lido, so have some control and access to accounts. If we are handing over taxpayer’s money we need a business case and some certainty we will get it back. We have cuts of £25 million to deal with so we can’t just bail out organisations with grants any more.

  7. Chris Reply

    I’ve only been to the Open Market once since it was modernised – late morning during a weekday. The building is certainly much better but the place was almost deserted apart from Street’s Cafe. I asked about products at a couple of stalls but didn’t buy anything as the stallholder/assistant couldn’t answer my questions about their wares.

  8. rolivan Reply

    The Hyde Group seem to be involved in a great deal of projects,perhaps they should be asked to put their hands in their pockets.

  9. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Sounds like the ‘new’ Open Market is designed to operate on an ‘ideological basis’ rather than in a real-world ‘entrepreneurial manner’.

    When I see that the Community Interest Company (CIC) is made up of “traders, the council, The Hyde Group and Ethical Property Company” it doesn’t inspire confidence that the market is being run in order to attract customers and maximise income for traders or the owners.

    Who actually owns the Open Market and who benefits from the businesses there in? Or is this just effectively a charitable institution with high objectives and low-interest management?

    I must admit I don’t know what Shoreditch looks like, but have they been contacted to see what they say about looking like London Road?

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