THE OWNER of a flower shop which has been in Newport Market for 78 years has become the latest to consider relocation, as traders who have not committed to staying under new terms were given notice to leave.

Johanna Davies, of Davies Florist, said the business is “very much considering moving” due to proposed increases in rents and service charges.

Ms Davies says her overall charges would go up by 280 per cent under proposed terms set out by developers Loft-Co.

The developer is planning a £12 million redevelopment of the building to create a tech hub, 80 apartments and a performance space while retaining market units and a food hall.

Termination notices were sent last week to some traders who have not committed to staying, informing them that they are required to give up occupation of the hall and remove items by August 30.

The letter, from Newport City Council, said: “You will be aware of ongoing plans for the redevelopment of the market and the developer will require vacant possession of the Market Hall in order to carry out the work.”

But the council said those who have agreed to sign up to a new lease have been given the opportunity to trade, rent free, while refurbishment takes place.

Several tenancies are currently in place until January of next year, including Ms Davies’, but she said it is unclear how many of the current traders will stay.

“I do not know if anybody has said they are going to stay,” Ms Davies said.

“We all think the terms are not very fair, they are very one-sided and very expensive for what it is.

“I am looking for somewhere else to go.”

The flower shop was set up by Ms Davies’ grandparents, Harold Edgar and Rose Davies, in 1942.

Over the years it has sold flowers to the Queen and it was chosen to provide for the NATO summit in 2014.

But while she says the market has “amazing” potential, Ms Davies said she feels “very upset” by the way traders have been treated.

“I have never missed a day’s rent and I am completely debt free, and this is the way we have been treated,” she said.


Dean Beddis, of Kriminal Records, and Jim Harty, of Jamaire Gifts, have both said they will also relocate due to the proposed increase in charges.

Mr Beddis said he handed in his notice last week, adding: “There was no way I was going to be able to trade under the proposed conditions.”

Simon Baston, managing director of Loft Co, has said there will be a three-month rent-free period and staggered rents over the first three years to help traders.

The company estimates the development will create five times the current footfall, while attracting 100 new businesses and more than 300 jobs.

Newport council said its agreement with Loft Co includes the company taking over the management of the market and becoming the new landlord.

A spokeswoman said it is “legally obliged” to end its existing tenancies and leases.

“Tenants have had the opportunity to agree new leases, including periods of rent-free and stepped rent,” the spokeswoman said.

“If they have chosen not to remain part of Newport Market, licence holders will have to leave by August 30 while leaseholders have six months’ notice.

“Loft Co offered to meet tenants on two occasions before serving the notices to discuss the redevelopment plans.

“Those who agreed to sign up to a new lease would be given the opportunity to trade, rent free, while refurbishment works are undertaken.

“They would have been aware that if they did not want to be part of the new scheme, they would have to leave.

“Any tenant that needs advice in relation to relocation can contact the council’s business support team.”

Loft Co previously said plans were ready to submit, but a planning application has yet to appear validated.