Market move was pointless says boss

West End Indoor Market manager Joanne Harrison and trader Kevin Isted.
West End Indoor Market manager Joanne Harrison and trader Kevin Isted.
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An indoor market boss who switched premises after losing a bidding war to a charity says: “We moved out for nothing!”

Joanne Harrison’s business took a hit after she was forced to pack up and move a quarter of a mile down the promenade.

She claims she only left because International Aid outbid her for the lease. But the charity, which has six shops on Albert Road, had a change of heart and the iconic building remains empty.

Mrs Harrison closed down her West End Market in the Alhambra building and reopened as the Empire Bazaar next to the Superbowl last November.

She said: “We were just starting to get established down there.

“It cost me thousands of pounds to move. The traders have been really good but I’ve lost some because it’s more money here.

“My back went out at Christmas because of the stress of everything.”

Derek Leach, from the International Aid Trust, said: “There were unseen difficulties.

“The running costs didn’t work out.”

The 99-year lease on the former Alhambra amusement arcade is owned by Brighton businessman Tim Martin.

Mr Martin was unavailable for comment.

Sue O’Brien, owner of the building, declined to comment.