City centre businesses feel they have been left in the dark as construction work for the new Primark store is put on hold.
Contractors GB Building Solutions carrying out the works on the store in Marketgate Shopping Centre have gone into administration.
Now work on the 50,000 sq ft may take even longer as Roubaix Group, who own Marketgate Shopping Centre, battle to find a new contractor.
Businesses on Middle Street, opposite the development, are frustrated as they wait for Gillison’s Lane to reopen.
The pathway is a crucial route for footfall as it acted as a shortcut for customers from the high street across to King Street and Middle Street.
Henry Davenport, owner of Fruits of the Lune, on King Street, said: “I spoke to the company and they’re not sure when the pathway will reopen.
If the business fails I have lost everythingMax Halls, who owns Ahoy on Middle Street
“People are taking a different route into town now and it is just a bit more of an inconvenience.”
Construction work on the new Primark store started in September last year and is set to open this Christmas.
Now the completion date is unknown after the contractor filed notice of intention to appoint administrators on March 9.
Max Halls, who owns Ahoy on Middle Street, is worried she won’t have a business left by the time Primark opens.
The mum-of-three said: “If things carry on the way they are I will have to close because I’m having to put my own personal money into the business and it is really affecting us at home.
“The council need to do something, we are not supposed to have banners or billboards but we need to be able to attract people to make the journey the long way round. If the business fails I have lost everything.”
Chris Beckerman, managing director of Roubaix Group, said: “Getting the new Primark open is our top priority.
“Like many others across the country, we have been let down by our appointed contractor so we must focus on bringing in a new team as soon as we can.”
Coun Janice Hanson, cabinet member with responsibility for economic regeneration and planning, said: “Whilst any disruption during building works is not ideal, the vibrancy that will be created by having a major retailer in this location will also benefit the city as a whole.”
Businesses wanting to advertise outside their shop can submit applications to the council’s planning department.