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The Buttermarket


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From Council News today:

Herefordshire Council and Hereford City Council are seeking expressions of interest from organisations for the redevelopment of Hereford Buttermarket. 
The Buttermarket, which was built in approximately 1860, currently houses 55 market stalls and has a long history of providing food produce in Hereford and is traditionally identified with the busy business and social culture of the city centre.
Councillor Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “The council has explored a number of market hall style redevelopment options for the Buttermarket over the past few years; unfortunately for a number of different reasons none of these options have been viable enough to take forward.
“The council is now working in partnership with Hereford City Council to launch a joint marketing initiative, which aims to release the potential of the Buttermarket as a key contributor to the continued vibrancy of the city centre.  To move the redevelopment forward, we are seeking expressions of interest from organisations who wish to present proposals for the site.  There is also the potential for a freehold disposal of the site if the right circumstances are presented.â€
To register your interest and receive an information pack; please contact the council’s agent Turner & Company on 01432 276202 or info@turnerandco.co.uk. 


Are the Council just trying to off load it or will there be a requirement to restore it as previously planned? Could work well if a co-operative took it over.

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According to the HT the freehold was estimated at £1.25m. With Council debt now at £200m, the fire sale continues it seems, but it ain't going to make a jot of difference. All our silver will be gone and then what will they do?


The City's 'jewel in the crown', used and abused by those in power to suit their own means, passed around consultants so they could all have their fill of fees before being discarded, open to offers from allcomers. What a disgraceful outcome and what a disgrace this Council are. How much lower can they sink?

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I'd say quite a bit, Two Wheels.


A cynical soul, might say they seem hell bent on destroying, demolishing and damaging as much as they possibly can, in the knowledge they'll all be gone next year.


Dark days for Herefordshire indeed.

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Seriously would be better off without Herefordshire 'we ain't got no more money guv' Council looking after it.
Went through there last week and it looks shameful with boarded up stalls,hell this place used to be packed with shoppers and I can 

see why no bugger wants to shop in there its in a terrible state.

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Hereford Times: 5:17am Thursday 12th June 2014 in News

HEREFORD Buttermarket could be back in the hands of its traders by the end of the year – if a bid to take over the High Town marketplace is successful.
Steve Dixon, the chairman of the Buttermarket Independent Traders Association, is heading a group of four traders, backed by local businessmen, that has expressed its interest in taking over the market as a community enterprise.
He said: “We know the market, we know the job.
“A private investor has to think about profit, about shareholders. We would invest profit back into the community.â€
Herefordshire County Council, who own the site, this week opened up the takeover process, inviting bids for the listed Victorian indoor market.
With a multi-million refurbishment on hold – work that was estimated at costing between £3million to £5million – council decisions over the market’s future have reached a critical point.
Under Mr Dixon’s plans, a community interest company would be created; a not-for-profit entity fronted by traders and experienced businessmen that would have access to charitable funding and grants for the repair work that are unavailable to councils.
It would take a long-term lease, expected to be 25-plus years, on the market, similar to the arrangement with Hereford United.
In exchange for taking on liability for the site, and the cost of repairs, the traders would be able to cut down what is currently £250,000 in annual rent payments.
“If it can work, I’m fully behind it,†said Hereford mayor Len Tawn, who also owns a stall in the market.
“It needs something, the Buttermarket has been under-supported for years.â€
Over the past five years partnerships with architecture firms and Hereford City Council have been suggested and dismissed, with disparities over budgets and visions for the site preventing any large-scale refurbishment taking place.
And Patricia Morgan, the council’s cabinet member for corporate services, has warned that there is potential for “a freehold disposal of the site if the right circumstances are presentedâ€.
There is a city charter that protects the site as a market, however Mr Dixon is concerned that if it were to be handed over to a private investor, any long-term closure for repair work could kill off the livelihoods of the 50-plus traders at the site.


Are BID (Business Improvement District) going to be involved with this? Seems to make sense if they are.

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Some of this info seems to contradict itself, although I am probably not interpreting it properly!


In Cambo's post above, point 3, states: "How, if your view is that the buildings function should change,do you see this could be achieved, and ensure that all stakeholders are engaged in the transition?"


Whilst in Megilleland post, the information clearly mentions that there is a city charter which protects the site as a market.


How would this work then? These two statements do not appear to support each other.


I would love the traders to be able to take over the Butter Market. They, more than any other group, would have the best interest of this building at heart. The traders ARE the Butter Market!

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Incredible how much and what HC actually own and are liable to keep in a good state of repair.  Mind you I do not believe it is entirely accurate


Yes all gathered from the hard work of Herefordshire citizens past and present. Some of this property was bequeathed by individuals in perpetuity, but that doesn't mean anything with this Cabinet. It may not be accurate, only because some of it may have been sold off or given away already and other bits are being lined up for future sales.

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Judging by the price of land at the moment that is a lot of money.  The register is not up to date and is less than a year ago.  How on earth can HC possibility know their wealth if a document as important as this is not updated.  Alarm bells ring for me every time I read something about HC.  All slightly off topic but ho hey!

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From Council News today:


Are the Council just trying to off load it or will there be a requirement to restore it as previously planned? Could work well if a co-operative took it over.


Isn't this really back to square one, where they were four or five years ago?  I don't see how including poor relation Hereford City Council is going to help.

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Councillor Tawn indicated that his previously declared disclosable pecuniary interest in the next item required him to vacate the Chair and take no part in the Committee’s deliberations. As the Vice Chairman, Councillor Toon, had sent apologies the Committee would need to nominate one of its members to take the Chair. 


It was proposed by Councillor Oliver, seconded Councillor Chave and 


RESOLVED That the Mayor take the Chair of the Committee for the next item. 





The Town Clerk introduced his report and gave further details of discussions with officers at Herefordshire Council. 


The Mayor added an update on the meeting he had attended at the invitation of the Chairman of Herefordshire Council with the Chief Executive and Service Director responsible for the market issue. It was noted that his invitation had been only to the Mayor and the town mayors. He had raised there the issue of a possible liability falling on new owners of the Market of around £220,000 to buy out existing long leases before any refurbishment could take place. This was not, in his view, an acceptable proposition for the City Council to entertain.


Discussion moved on to the draft heads of agreement suggested by the Clerk in his report, and Committee agreed an alteration of the wording of item four on that list. It was also considered as to whether the Council should insist on taking over all markets and fairs activity to bring the whole service to a coherent whole, although it was also noted that this could end any discussion with Herefordshire Council as they had already indicated at a very early stage that this was not something they would agree to. 


It was noted that there had been some premature and not entirely accurate comment in the local press and at meetings by Herefordshire Council concerning the City’s position and that the Clerk ought to have suitable press releases prepared for every eventuality. 


Following discussion of the details of a possible negotiating position the proposed heads of agreement were identified as : 


The asset should be transferred as an unencumbered freehold. The City would not take a head lease and a rent liability contingent on future market income as this would be an unacceptable risk to the City purse. 


Herefordshire (Council) must either transfer an appropriate and sufficient sum to buy out long leases held by stall holders to enable reconfiguration, refurbishment or renewal of the Butter Market, or extinguish those leases and settle any compensation liabilities with stall holders, before the asset is transferred. 


The Council would prefer to accept an asset transfer when it has a signed agreement with a developer to carry out necessary works, using their own funds, and to take over the management of and operation of the market to raise revenue to recover that capital expenditure. 


The City will not seek to borrow money at cost to its own resources to renovate or otherwise develop the Butter Market, nor will it seek to become a direct market operator. 


The City will seek full disclosure from Herefordshire Council of any and all option appraisals, designs and consideration of alternative strategies for the Butter Market in order to inform the process of developing a plan with a suitable organisation for the future of the facility. 


The City requires urgent clarification of the precise boundaries of the asset to be transferred, and clarification of the extent and detail implied in any listed building or other restrictions that might apply to development of the asset. 


The City wishes to see a comprehensive and jointly agreed market strategy for the City to include both the indoor and outdoor facilities to ensure that competition is encouraged, a varied and attractive consumer offer is maintained and vibrancy is encouraged. 


It was proposed by Councillor Michael, seconded by the Mayor and 



That the Committee endorses the broad principles outlined above to be the basis for ongoing negotiation with Herefordshire Council. 


That the Committee authorises officers and members of the Council to continue discussions with Herefordshire Council, and possible developers/operators of the Butter Market in line with the principles set out above. 


That the Committee affirms the Council’s strong interest in a possible transfer on the principles set out above. 


That the Clerk prepares suitable press releases concerning the Council’s position. 


At this point the Mayor left the meeting and Councillor Tawn resumed the Chair.


These are the city's latest minutes published on their website. Going back to last year, but plenty of interest in here.


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To my mind, the most depressing aspect of this business is that Steve Dixon, Chair of the traders' association, comes up with a perfectly workable solution for the Butter Market's future, which the council should have the good grace to back and give it a speedy passage to fruition. 


But instead, we have The High Priestess of Fire Sales up on her hind legs, virtually inviting any property dealer in the UK to come and take the building off the council's hands.


And if King Bobby was still posting, I'm sure that the text of his response would be worded more strongly than the above!

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Hi Pete!


Welcome to Hereford Voice!


Which, do you feel, is the best way forward for the Butter Market?

Thanks Hippy, good to be here.


As to the best way forward, I expect there's people more qualified than myself to pronounce on that, but it seems to me that the Council has already had one crack at it and achieved very little. I'd be interested to know more about Mr Dixon's plan for the market as I'd not heard of it prior to reading Grid Knocker's post.

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I am in contact with Mr Dixon because I am supporting the market traders taking over the market, but there is obsticles being put in his way, I had suggested to have the outside market traders to take the empty stalls in the butter market, bringing it all under one roof. It comes as no surprise to have been told that the present mayor and his deputy (who happens to be Father-in-law and son-in-law) want the market to be sold, also the recently out going mayor would like it to be sold to a developer to turn it into an art studio with accomodation in the roof area. Considering the mayor and deputy should in their positions be doing everything to retain the building for the people of Hereford and their political group was formed to fight to keep everything for the people of Hereford in reality they do not seem to care about Hereford or the people. Mr Dixon will openly talk with anyone who can help just go in the buttermarket and speak to him.

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Hi Glenda,I'm so pleased you're supporting the market traders bid.


I'm concerned about the information you have posted about a possible change of use. Are you saying that the city charter which protects the site as a market, isn't worth the paper it's written on??

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