I’m not sure what’s going on here yet, until I’ve done a bit more research, but according to the Express & Star, Walsall Council are currently looking for commercial tenders to run Brownhills Market for ‘a maximum’ of two years.
This will come as some surprise to regular readers considering that the council terminated the original contract to run the facility with Spook Erection 18 months ago, then realising what a bollock they’s dropped, tried to revive the bazaar under their own auspices six months later. Doomed by lack of publicity, sky high rents and poor management, it was subsequently left to wither and die. The market was finally abandoned to apathy in early 2010.
Quite how Walsall will pitch this glowing opportunity to prospective operators is unclear, but it does seem like a rather frank admission that they couldn’t run a whelk stall, or indeed, any other commercial enterprise. Spook Erection, the original operators, must be laughing their socks off.
It’s worth pointing out that as the Tesco redevelopment juggernaut rumbles on, it has been said that the developers want to site their temporary construction offices on the former market area, so this potentially means that works of any meaningful kind on the new retail oasis won’t be starting for another two years.
It’s also interesting to see the statement in the E&S article is made by Council Leader Mike Bird, rather than hapless regeneration chief Adrian Andrew. This must mean that finally, Mike really is doing the work of two men. Unfortunately for us, the two men are Laurel and Hardy…