Work underway to demolish Sunderland market

Demolition of former Southwick Market.
Demolition of former Southwick Market.
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WORK has started on pulling down a once-vibrant market.

The builders have moved in as work to demolish Southwick Market begins, after it stood empty for almost two years.

In August 2010, the Echo revealed the cash-strapped market had been given a 14-day deadline to sort out its finances.

Unfortunately, the deadline was not met, and eventually the shutters were brought down and traders kicked out.

Since then, the derelict building has been standing empty, but now the bulldozers have moved in as work on demolishing it begins.

The roof has already been pulled down and the remainder of the building, in The Green, is being worked on.

There are for let signs on the site.

Southwick shoppers are disappointed to see the old market finally disappear.

“I used to use the market all the time years ago,” said Alice Cartle, 62, of Thompson Road. “I’d nip out and get my fruit and veg and a few bits and bobs.”

She added: “It was a disappointment to see it go because I think everyone round here had fond memories of it going back, but it wasn’t the same before it closed.

“People didn’t seem to use it.”

Despite the demolition marking the end of an era, there was hope in the community that it could spark some progress.

Simon Rowe, 45, of Southwick Road, said: “It’s good to see something finally being done with it.

“What? We don’t know, but hopefully it won’t be another discount store, we’ve got enough of them.”

At the time the market faced the threat of closure, leaseholder John Morris said it had been crippled by drastic changes in the area.

These included changes to housing, people shopping at big supermarkets and the general deterioration of the area.

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