Due to ongoing Abbey building work and an assumed separation from Christmas Market, owners of a series of independent shops in Bath attest that they have almost gone “extinct”.
To keep afloat, Orange Grove traders rely on trade from Bath Christmas Market visitors. In the few weeks of the event, some of these traders get 70% of their annual earnings.
After the market organisers, Visit Bath announced that Orange Grove would not be the station for the Christmas chalets this year, the shops have been experiencing extremely turbulent times.
The £19.3m Footprint project at the Abbey is the cause of this. The Abbey floor was once where thousands of bodies were buried. It is now collapsing due to the decomposition of the bodies, making the foundations less secure. The project involves prising up the floor.
Outside the eminent landmark near Orange Grove is where the huge boardings have been put up. Traders claim that people heading from Cheap Street, past the Abbey and to the Parade gardens don’t recognise that there is access to Orange Grove. This has led to a huge decline in the number of patronisers.
As life becomes increasingly difficult for these traders and from fear that their shops may not survive much longer, they are asking for compensations from Visit Bath and the Abbey.
One of the shop owners, Sera Kanpulat, says that they have been hurt by the Abbey Footprint project. Since the month of May, traffic to the shops has dropped drastically.