Prominent businesses will trade a historic market for a multi-million pound city development thanks to a leading law firm.
Geoff Hughes Butchers is one of several stallholders that will transfer from Chester Market to the £72m Northgate site later this year, with the support of Mackenzie Jones Solicitors.
A fixture in the Market Hall for almost half a century, Geoff and wife Debbie are sad to leave the old building behind but excited at moving to the 36,000 sq ft market space this autumn.
Mackenzie Jones, based in St Asaph, Chester, and Menai Bridge, legally represented a number of the businesses relocating after decades in the market, and the couple thanked them for helping to secure their place.
“We have many happy memories here and it will be a wrench to leave but I’m excited about the future,” said Geoff, who has worked in the Market Hall for 46 years, including 25 years as owner of his own butcher’s business.
“I started here as a 14 year-old in a Saturday job so it’s all I’ve known for most of my life, and it’s the same for our loyal customers.
“It’s going to be very different, but the new building looks incredible, and we will have more room so there is an opportunity to develop new lines and expand our offering.”
Debbie also worked at the market as a teenager and met Geoff over the shop counter more than 40 years ago.
They have two children, David and Laura, and grandchildren Esme, 9, and five year-old Isaac.
Thanking Mackenzie Jones for their advice and guidance, she added: “With their support, we and other traders are now in a position to look forward and continue being a part of the retail community here in this part of Chester.
“This new market has been more than 20 years in the pipeline so it’s great to see it finally go ahead and for us to be a part of it.”
Andrew Foley-Jones, a director at Mackenzie Jones, said they have represented traders who have either terminated their leases or negotiated new contracts at the Northgate Development.
“As well as being their legal representative I’ve also been a customer of the market for many years so from a personal perspective I’m delighted to have been able to support Geoff and fellow stallholders,” he added.
“We work with businesses of all sizes but in a case like this where there is a lot of history and emotion involved it’s heartening to see such a positive result.
“We wish Geoff, Debbie and all of our clients moving into the new market the very best of luck for the future.”
The new Chester Northgate development will include a six-screen cinema, restaurants, public square, and multi-storey car park.