By Tristan Harris Tuesday 03 September 2013 Updated: 05/09 00:17
THE OWNERS of Rubery Market have expressed their regret that the business had to close amidst mounting debts and the inability to find a new buyer in time.
Paul and Julie Larner launched the market by the Co-Op on New Road on November 11, 2011, to coincide with Armistice Day and held a fund-raiser in aid of Help for Heroes on the first day.
But on Saturday (August 31), after less than two years, the market was forced to close because of financial difficulties.
Mr Larner told The Standard the pair had been let down by people who owed them money and they were unable to continue trading.
The pair had been criticised by some about the short notice given to the traders but, Mr Larner said, they only knew themselves that the market had to close last Tuesday (August 27), the day after the bank holiday. He said those with stalls were contacted on that day and the rest of them, who they could not initially get in touch with, were told the following morning.
"We have been carrying on with it for the long term.
"We were speaking to the council about taking it on, but they do not have the resources to do it.
"It was a great shame because it was a fabulous little market."
He added talks were continuing in a bid to form a co-operative between the traders so they could maybe get the market back up and running.
"I think a market could work in Rubery, but it needs people who know what they are doing."
He said the aim was for him and his wife to develop the building into a market and then sell the business on, but it was not to be.
He added, in hindsight, the venture needed someone behind it with retail experience.
Despite the closure of the market, the Gallery Cafe is still open.
Owner Mike Oakley said: "We want to make sure customers know that we are still here and trading."
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