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‘It feels like home’ – Sheffield’s Moor Market celebrates 10 years

  • By Victoria Scheer
  • BBC News

Image source, BBC/Victoria Scheer

Image caption,

The Moor Market in Sheffield is celebrating its 10th anniversary

It has been ten years since Sheffield’s Moor Market first opened its doors.

The £18m venture on the corner of The Moor and Earl Street opened on 25 November 2013, replacing the city’s Castle Market.

According to the city council, the market is home to over 90 stallholders, who offer anything from fresh produce to services, clothes and crafts.

Marking the 10-year anniversary on Saturday, traders said the market hall now felt “like home”.

Grace Bolsover, owner of Grace’s Fabrics, has been running her business for 34 years.

The 81-year-old first had a stall at Castle Market before it moved to the new venue.

She said: “Castle Market had a lovely character, but this has also built its own character up – it feels like home now.

“It’s got a warmth to it, I don’t know why more people don’t come. Anything you want you can get from the market, all the fresh fish and meat.”

Image source, BBC/Victoria Scheer

Image caption,

Grace Bolsover, who runs Grace’s Fabrics

When it first opened, it was hoped the Moor Market would attract around 100,000 people each week.

However, the latest figures from Sheffield City Council, which owns the market, showed only around 10,000 visitors stop by each week.

For some traders, like Hossein Sofiany, footfall is a concern.

The 59-year-old, who has been running Green Leaves since 2007, said the economic climate and an increase in online shopping have made it hard for traders.

Image source, BBC/Victoria Scheer

Image caption,

Hossein Sofiany, owner of Green Leaves

“For me, since Brexit, the export and import of products is very difficult,” Mr Sofiany said.

“Many times I am thinking about changing my job because I cannot afford it anymore.”

Despite the challenges, Mr Sofiany said he hoped to celebrate the market’s next milestone anniversary.

“The people of Sheffield now feel like part of my family,” he added.

Image source, BBC/Victoria Scheer

Image caption,

Malcolm Davis of The Nut Bar

Malcolm Davis, who has been working at The Nut Bar for more than 40 years, voiced similar concerns.

He said trying to compete with supermarket prices was a challenge.

“You’ve got your B&M and even Poundland, which all sell food now,” the 57-year-old told the BBC.

“Markets cannot get anywhere near the prices of supermarkets. A lot of [traders] are struggling because we are not getting the footfall.”

Image source, BBC/Victoria Scheer

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Craig Goodridge opened his travel stall over the summer

Meanwhile, travel agent Craig Goodridge is one of the latest additions to the diverse range of services and products on offer at the Moor Market.

The stall first opened this summer, after being an online business for nearly seven years.

Mr Goodridge, 36, said he made the decision to open a physical store after the pandemic, when he noticed an increase in face-to-face demand.

He said opening the stall has helped attract customers who might be less likely to use his website but keen to seek him out for advice during their shopping trip.

Mr Goodridge said like many other traders, good customer service was a source of pride.

“No one here has an agenda,” he said.

“If someone says they cannot fix something for you, they will tell you.”

Image source, BBC/Victoria Scheer

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Nik Erodotou, of Moor Cobbler Shoppe

Nik Erodotou, the owner of Moor Cobbler Shoppe, agreed, adding: “People can shop anywhere – you’ve got to have good customer service.”

Mr Erodotou, 54, has been working at markets ever since he was a teenager and believes they still play an important role in communities.

He said: “You have got people in the market who provide a broad range of everything.

“I think that is what makes it work, we’ve got so many different cultural elements in here.”

‘More than just a market’

Not only is the market a place to shop, but it has also turned into a community hub, which is home to community nurses, sexual health and stop smoking services.

Councillor Joe Otten, chair of the Waste and Street Scene Policy committee, said it was “more than just a market”.

“It offers a place for local people to shop for quality products at reasonable prices, something that in the current climate, everyone is looking for,” he said.

“It is also a safe place in the city centre that can be used by the community, whether that is warm space or a place to find support for a range of health matters.”

Image source, BBC/Victoria Scheer

Image caption,

The Moor Market first opened in November 2013

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