A new manager has been appointed to run Liverpool’s St Johns Market – 25 years after he met his wife there.
David Wightman, 62, has spent the past 23 years running shopping centres before taking up his new role at one of Britain’s oldest indoor markets.
David, who lives in Liverpool, says the appointment “feels like coming home” after he met his wife while running a jewellers in St Johns Shopping centre in the 1990s.
The former Thomas A Becket pupil is to replace interim market manager Colin McCrory who has been overseeing the market after it was re-opened by Sir Ken Dodd in November, following a £2.5m revamp.
David’s arrival coincides with Liverpool City Council, which runs the market, announcing that three new food operators – a Portugese eatery, a crepe cafe and a Brazilian food and drink trader - are to open in the next two weeks making the food court element of the market 100% let. The market’s hair and beauty section is also 100% let and an African/Asian artefacts stall will also open in the next fortnight.
David, who has a diploma in shopping centre management, added: “Me and St Johns go back a long way, I vividly recall the old market as a child and have many great memories there so I’m thrilled to be returning at a really exciting time for the market.
“There’s a great mix of tenants at St Johns and over the next few weeks there’s going to be some really big announcements which will have a great impact on the market.
“Colin has given me a great overview of what’s been going on and what’s planned and all I can say is that Liverpool shoppers are in for a treat as we head into the summer.”
Outgoing manager Colin, whose last job will be to open a new JMU student art exhibition at the market, added: “I’ve had a great time at St Johns Market, getting to know the traders and their customers and building relationships with partners across the city to develop an events programme for the market.
“I’m sorry to be leaving just as all our plans are coming to fruition but I know David has the experience and know-how to make the most of these opportunities and to continue to improve the market.”
Colin Lapham, chairman of St Johns Market Traders Association, said: “It was a pleasure working with Colin McCory, his candid, down to earth, hands on approach will be missed. We thank him for his time and dedication.
“We look forward to working just as closely with David, the new market manager, over the forthcoming summer months. The changes and developments that are coming will once again make St John’s Market the historic cultural hub of the city, and we share David’s excitement at this prospect.”