Bargain hunters have headed to a new weekly market in Wembley – although it has no ties with its popular predecessor.
Quintain Estates, which owns and is redeveloping swathes of land around Wembley Stadium, launched on Sunday a replacement market of up to 500 stalls almost 18 months after kicking out the previous market run for more than four decades by Wendy Fair Markets.
The new market is held in Olympic Way by Retail Alternatives, which has signed a Real Deal charter with Brent and Harrow Trading Standards in order to ensure the authenticity of items on sale following several prosecutions for fake goods of stallholders at the old market.
A Quintain spokeswoman said: “The new market has no connection to Wendy Fairs. We ran a tender for a new market operator in 2013 and Wendy Fairs amongst others was invited to apply for it.
“The criteria however required the market operator to sign up to the Real Deal and operate to a much higher set of trading standards than Wendy Fairs had historically adhered to.
“Several market operators responded to our tender and an experienced market operator has been appointed to operate markets on behalf of Quintain.”
Retail Alternative’s Sunday market runs between 10am and 4pm although not on a Wembley Stadium event day.
One Twitter user @trixi_uk said: “Brilliant street food market in @Wembley_Park. Way overdue! Will be back next week for some Peruvian street food and homemade cakes!”
But another, Tony Tilbury, said: “just spent 40 mins walking round the ‘new’ market #dissapointed #SameOldTat.”
Associate Headteacher of St Joseph’s Junior School in Wembley, Mark Betts said: “I’ve been living in Wembley now for almost 24 years and I’ve seen been a huge number of changes in the area. There’s been the redevelopment of Wembley Stadium, and more recently London Designer Outlet and the Civic Centre in its fabulous building with the new library. And now there are regular weekend markets. “Wembley Park is becoming a real hub for the local community. It’s really contributing to the regeneration and development of the area. People have a reason to come to Wembley again and that revitalisation is really exciting, it’s making a big difference to the community.”
Earlier this year Wendy Fair Market relocated its market to the redundant Unisys Buildings plaza in Brentfield, Neasden, but were forced to close after four months when served with an enforcement notice by Brent Council for operating without the necessary planning permission in place.
One of the directors of Wendy Fair Markets, Tessa Darby said: “We wish them good luck if they can make it work. I don’t think the people of Wembley really want an arts and crafts market, I think they would like a general one, like ours was.
“It’s a shame we had to close because people want our market back, we were told that it would clash with the new designer outlet but now this market is there.
“We are in the process of trying to re set up the market in Stonebridge Park and are waiting to hear back from the council about it. A lot of papers said we had to close because of some of the stalls being prosecuted for selling fake goods, but we as landlords don’t have the knowledge or power to recognise this happening, it was not a huge problem like it was made out to be.”
Quintain Estates has applied for planning permission from Brent Council for permission to hold other temporary markets and temporary events between 8am and midnight on consecutive days at any time during the week.
One such market is a 40-day Christmas market starting on November 14 while and art, antiques and vintage market takes place in Wembley Park Boulevard and an ice rink has been planned for outside the London Designer Oulet from November 14 to January 4.