Upcoming vegan fair ‘not fair for trade’ on Ely High Street, say business owners

Ely Vegan Fair.

Ely Vegan Fair. - Credit: Archant

Businesses in Ely have hit out over the city’s vegan fair, which is to be held in the city later this month.

Shop owners have criticised the decision to hold the festival along High Street on October 29, as they believe it will have a detrimental effect on businesses along the street.

One of the concerned businessmen is Barry Lonsdale, who runs Cloisters Antiques on Lynn Road. He says business at his independent store has been hit by almost half because of events taking place on High Street.

“We’re unhappy with the way that the stalls will be positioned. It’s not fair for the trade in the street,” he said.

“We have a Market Place which is for the market. The fairs might bring in trade to the market but it doesn’t bring it into the shops.

“We found that we were roughly 50 per cent down because of the previous fair. We want realistic talks and something to be done.”

The vegan fair is set to see over 20 traders showcase their meat-free offerings from 9am until 3pm.

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Emma Grima, corporate director of East Cambs Trading Company, said: “We visited with shopkeepers when promoting the event and briefed them on the plans for the vegan fair.

“This was well received with some very positive feedback. We have taken active steps to address some of their concerns, particularly around access and deliveries and we have limited the number of vegan fair traders spreading them out down the High Street to enhance the area.

“The Ely Markets Team will be on hand before, during and after the event to discuss any concerns and we will continue to work with the shopkeepers to enhance the vitality of Ely City Centre.”