Desperate traders today told how they are battling to keep their businesses from closing down following claims they were given just 24 hours notice they would have to move out of a Fylde market.
HBS Shopping Village, in Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, was closed on Monday and the premises is set to be replaced by the budget store Poundland in December.
But traders claim they only received a phone call from their landlord on Saturday telling them to move their stock out of the building – known locally as The Green Market – by Monday morning.
Tristan Farnworth, 45, has run the Designer Magnetic Jewellery stall for the past four years.
He said: “We’ve all got mortgages and now we are faced with losing our jobs in a day. We should’ve had three or six months notice because we’ve paid our rent on time.
“It’s bang out of order the way we’ve been treated.”
Trish Gallagher, 42, runs two menswear stalls with her family. She said: “We didn’t know anything about this.
“As far as we were concerned this would stay as a market. We’ve been unable to serve a notice period and look for somewhere else.”
All of the building’s locks were changed on Tuesday morning and Parkinson Bailiff Services Limited were employed by the landlord to help return the stock to traders.
A petition has also been set up by angry traders in a bid to save the market.
John Allan, 60, runs a music memorabilia store.
He said: “I had a phone call from the landlord on Saturday and he told me not to pay my rent this week because he’d given the building to Poundland. I was shocked and thought it was a wind up at first.” But landlord Salim Patel told The Gazette traders were given plenty of warning about Poundland coming to the market. He said: “There’s been enough warnings and it’s been on planning portals and signs have been outside the store for 24 months to notify people of Poundland coming in.
“Everyone involved was made aware of the situation and they had opportunities to take stock and we are still giving them opportunities to take it.
“We’ve advised everyone which premises are vacant in Cleveleys and they can approach landlords.”
Paul Maynard MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said: “I am of course disappointed to hear the news that Cleveleys Indoor Market has been closed with practically no notice to traders.
“It is sad that we see another well loved independent venture succumb to the progress of big name discount chain stores.”