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Further setback for Aberdeen market traders as landlord appoints administrators

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The future of Aberdeen’s market traders was thrown into further uncertainty last night as administrators were brought in by their landlord.

It is understood Cowgills has been appointed by Aberdeen Market Village, the site’s operator.

The 1970s building in Market Street is already earmarked for demolition after plans for redevelopment were approved by councillors earlier this year.

Market Village leased the building from owners Patrizia, in turn renting out space to its many small businesses.

Those independent traders had warned the loss of the affordable city centre space could drive them out of business when pleading for its survival.

Yesterday charity Four Pillars announced an urgent search for new premises, fearing administration meant the market would immediately close, as it was “highly unlikely” a new operator would come in with demolition looming.

The LGBT+ cause, which organises the annual Grampian Pride, was told its landlord had gone into liquidation on Friday.

Although it is understood there were a number of years remaining on Aberdeen Market Village’s lease, the Four Pillars board agreed seeking a new home immediately was necessary to “save the charity”.

More than 100 people use its services each month at its base, which has benefitted from more than £5,000 of investment in just over a year.

Four Pillars community relations manager, Deejay Bullock, said “As Covid-19 wreaks havoc across the globe, we have tried to adapt our services, as a local charity, to help those in need through the crisis and have been looking forward at the kind of support individuals will need in the future.

“As if things weren’t bad enough, we now need to find a new home and urgently”.

The charity has set up a fundraising drive to fund its urgent relocation, which can be accessed at fourpillarsuk.org.

Fellow tenants Market Heel N Key Bar said in a statement: “We are unsure if we will be able to reopen in the market as we have not been contacted by our landlords.

“We have made enquires about empty shops nearby but we will hopefully have more news soon.”

Other traders declined to comment on the announcement, telling The P&J it “didn’t change much” in light of the already-approved demolition.

Patrizia’s plans to erect an 11-storey “lantern-shaped” building, predominantly comprising of office space, were passed in April.

The development in the existing building’s footprint will also include retail space, a business lounge, cafes, car parking and added public realm space in the Green.

The firm separately secured planning permission to redevelop the adjoining former BHS building in Union Street into office space, shops and apartments.

Cowgills were unable to comment when contacted.

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