Morley Market’s new manager is on a mission to increase footfall to the indoor shopping centre.
Shaun Lear has been appointed as the successor to outgoing manager David Wilson, who has moved on to pursue other business interests in Selby after nine years in the role.
Mr Lear, 43, has worked at the market for more than a decade as caretaker and handyman, and has previously deputised for Mr Wilson, so is familiar with the ins and outs of the job.
Mr Lear said: “I’m very pleased to have been given the job and to be the market’s man on the ground. I like to get out and about and speak to the traders every day and find out what’s going on and how they’re doing. I don’t like hiding in the office.”
Boasting around 50 stalls, the market is one of Morley’s biggest town centre attractions, having been built in 1884 and opened for trade in late 19th century.
However, in recent years business has been hit by increasing competition from the high street and the internet.
Mr Lear said he’s keen to prevent more sad stories like that of Bentley’s Fishmongers, which was forced to pack up and leave the market last year after 69 years of business after their custom sharply declined.
“I’m going to have a good crack at the problem,” Mr Lear added.
“The market needs an injection of something. We need to attract more of the younger generation because they’re all doing their shopping online and in the supermarkets. We had half term last week and it was a bit on the quiet side.
“I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve but I’m still a big believer in advertising by word of mouth and people going round and telling their friends what they’ve got from the market.
“And of course if you get a good service from something then you’ll come back.”
A Friends of Morley Market group was set up last year in a bid to generate ideas and greater interest in it.