Just three months after a market arrived in Ferndown, a major store has pulled out of a deal that would have secured its future in the town.
Tesco Stores Ltd was in negotiation with Ferndown Town Council, Southern Market Traders and Ferndown Chamber of Commerce to bring the market into Penny’s Walk, a shopping precinct in the town centre. Whilst negotiations were underway, the market had been temporarily sited along Victoria Road every Friday.
Ferndown Chamber of Commerce has now received a communication from Tesco Stores Ltd saying they do not wish to take forward the proposal.
Mayor of Ferndown, Cllr Mike Parkes expressed the council’s disappointment saying, “The town council has worked hard with the chamber of commerce and Southern Market Traders to facilitate a market in the town centre for the benefit of the businesses in Ferndown and to provide a valuable resource for residents.
“We are therefore bitterly disappointed that at this 11th hour Tesco has refused to allow the market to take place in Penny’s Walk having been in negotiations with them since January.”
Chamber president James Edgar said, “I find it extraordinary that this major supermarket has decided not to support the community in Ferndown by allowing the Friday market to move into Penny’s Walk where it can thrive and continue to bring more people into the town. With the eventuality of Marks & Spencer opening shortly, this would have been a golden opportunity for Tesco to keep shoppers on its doorstep on a Friday.”
A more than disappointed Paul Lewis from Southern Market Traders added, “We have invested time and money to bring the Ferndown a community high end market. It was supposed to be in Penny’s Walk and will look nicer there. Lots of people have worked hard to make this market happen and it is a unique situation to have such strong support from a local chamber of commerce.”
James said, “Southern Market Traders and Ferndown Chamber of Commerce are committed to the market in Ferndown and will continue to fight for it, but its time is limited on the high street.”
He emphasized that the local branch of Tesco had been supportive of a local market, adding “There’s no doubt that it has brought more people into the town, which can only be a good thing for the community.”
A spokesperson from Tesco said, “We are supportive of the introduction of a market in Ferndown. We have put together a proposal but as yet we have not been able to reach an agreement.”
This post was edited on 30 June to incorporate a comment from Tesco and remove the petition information following today’s developments. For more details on the situation call the chamber president James Edgar on 01202 861440.