Bridgend Indoor Market
My friend, fellow photographer, and local butcher Tim Wood asked me if I’d take some photographs for a new poster campaign to help spread awareness of Bridgend’s Indoor Market situated in The Rhiw Arcade.
If you’ve visited Bridgend town recently you’ll be all too aware of how badly the ongoing recession has hit this once bustling old market town.
Coupled to this the ever-growing number of super stores springing up on the outskirts of the town and the massive Mac Arthur Glen retail outlet in Sarn, it seems many shoppers have been enticed away from the town centre looking for big names and cheap deals.
This has left the indoor market with a real battle on its hands, and to say that it’s very existence is under threat, wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
Every month it seems more of Bridgend’s shops are closing down, and either being replaced by yet another charity shop, mobile phone outlet, or are just left empty.
Empty shops do nothing to spread confidence in our fragile economy and to be quite honest just makes the town look depressed and forgotten.
Rents in the town centre are extortionate and when combined with ever rising business rates, it’s not surprising that the expense of doing business in Bridgend is driving away new business and forcing many long-established owners to bring down the shutters for good.
The indoor market is now privately owned, by a pension fund company based in Ireland. Eager to capitalise on their investment and looking for long-term profits from commercial rents and increasing property prices, their investment into the market appears to be scant, superficial and to all intents and purposes practically non-existent, with many of the stalls starting to fall into disrepair.
Even so, the traders in the market are determined to fight back, although everything seems stacked against them.
I hope they can turn the market around, to lose it would be unthinkable and probably the final nail in the coffin of this once lovely trading post.