THE REDEVELOPMENT of Darlington Market has faced another backlash from customers after one of the facility’s long-standing tenants has closed.

Mulholland and Son family butchers is the latest business to have received a notice to vacate the market as redevelopment plans continue.

The butchers stall has stood in the centre of the indoor market for decades but its tenancy has now ended, despite being offered the opportunity to continue within the market.

A short post from Mulholland and Son online read: “That’s all folks...thanks to all our lovely customers”.

Customers took to social media to pay tribute to the family butchers and criticised the market for its decision.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Darlington Indoor MarketDarlington Indoor Market

One user said: “They are just getting rid of the heart of the market so they can have an indoor music venue, its sacrilege, cannot call it a market without the established traders!”

Another said: “Shocking way to treat the market stall holders. Thank you for the fantastic service we have received over the years, gonna be a big miss.”

After weeks of uncertainty and confusion around the future of other tenants, the bosses at the market have now said it continues to work alongside its traders during the redevelopment.

A spokeswoman for Market Asset Management (MAM), which owns the facility, said: “Mulholland and Son gave us notice on their market stall and said that they would be working from their basement preparation area only.

“Their basement units fall under the same lease as the market units, so it was not possible for them to lease one without the other. We offered Mulholland and Son the opportunity to carry on within the market, but they decided to leave.”

It comes after other established businesses closed their doors for the final time due to the changes. The popular 35-year-old IL Cappuccino cafe closed in September and has no plans to reopen at another site.

Darlington and Stockton Times: IL Cappuccino closed last monthIL Cappuccino closed last month

The spokeswoman added: “During the course of the redevelopment, we have worked hard to ensure that traders who wished to be relocated within the market, could be relocated.

“Where possible, when traders were unhappy about options to relocate, we changed our redevelopment plans to leave units, such as the shop units shared by Gamezone and Trade and Save, excluded from the redevelopment, to allow them to stay within their unit. Sadly, they decided to leave the market anyway.

“Unfortunately, IL Cappuccino and Mulholland and Son are leaving the market. While IL Cappuccino’s unit will be part of the redevelopment, the last leaseholder of IL Cappucino had only been a tenant of the market for a short time and their lease came to an end.

“We continue to work alongside our traders, new and old, as we progress the market’s redevelopment.”

However, Richard Brooks whose Record Shed business vacated its market-based premises in July said he was never given the opportunity to stay.

Phase two of the market’s redevelopment plans are “nearly complete”, MAM said.