Fears Accrington market on brink of collapse

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

STALL holders on an award-winning market fear trade is on the verge of collapse with over a third of outdoor stalls standing empty.

The Grade-Two listed Accrington Market Hall is considered one of the town’s architectural gems and was reopened after a £2million refurbishment two years ago.

Just a year later it was voted Britain's best indoor market.

But the outdoor three-day market is struggling after 15 out of 37 stalls were empty last Tuesday and Friday. Several stalls were also empty on Saturday.

Ian McLaine, who runs a book stall on the outdoor market, said: “Things are quite bad at the moment.

“The weather is rubbish and there are no customers. The roof on the outdoor part has vents in that just let the wind and rain gust through.

“It puts people off and some stalls just didn’t survive the winter. I will still be here no matter what because I enjoy the job. Some stall holders are gone for good though.”

Ben Hall, who runs All Fruits greengrocery stall, said: “There isn’t much footfall. With so many shops having closed, people go elsewhere."

Ian Smith, who runs an indoor butchers’ stall, said: “We lost two indoor sellers between now and Christmas, the furniture shop and the fresh bread stall. It is bad times and people are just getting very fed up.”

One trader, who asked not to be named, said: “People only just about got through Christmas and then it never picked up again. People were leaving so regularly week after week we all just got used to it.” The three-day general retail market operates on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Second hand goods and car boot sales also operate alongside new goods the rest of the week.

Hyndburn Council’s 2012/13 rates for leasing stalls are £18 per stall per day for casual traders. A weekly three-day licence starts at £37.50 per week per stall.

Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard who oversees markets said: “It’s winter and you do usually see a dip in stalls at this time. The markets are full in the summer. “There is also the recession and times are hard. When new stall holders are contacting us we are talking to them about incentives and discounts that we can offer them.”

Comments (8)

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11:06am Mon 18 Mar 13

juanbbien says...

The decline of East Lancashire is very sad.
The decline of East Lancashire is very sad. juanbbien
  • Score: 3

7:54pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Noiticer says...

Just a reflection of the way we shop these days - supermarkets, on-line, convenience. The need for food markets is reducing steadily as people - particularly younger people, can't be bothered to shop for food in town centres. The siting of Morrisons in Blackburn Town Centre was a good idea as people park there and do some shopping in the Market.
Just a reflection of the way we shop these days - supermarkets, on-line, convenience. The need for food markets is reducing steadily as people - particularly younger people, can't be bothered to shop for food in town centres. The siting of Morrisons in Blackburn Town Centre was a good idea as people park there and do some shopping in the Market. Noiticer
  • Score: 1

9:44pm Mon 18 Mar 13

Michael@ClitheroeSince58 says...

Accy outdoor market used to be one of the best markets in the area, it was a lot bigger than it is now and had a huge variety of stalls. It's just to small now that it's hardly worth the visit that it once was. A huge shame and sadly the effects of the decision to shrink it has also lost much needed trade from visitors to other businesses in town.
Accy outdoor market used to be one of the best markets in the area, it was a lot bigger than it is now and had a huge variety of stalls. It's just to small now that it's hardly worth the visit that it once was. A huge shame and sadly the effects of the decision to shrink it has also lost much needed trade from visitors to other businesses in town. Michael@ClitheroeSince58
  • Score: 1

10:28pm Mon 18 Mar 13

2 for 5p says...

Last time I went there it was like steptoes yard on a good day.
The rents re cheap though £18 a day that should go up >
Last time I went there it was like steptoes yard on a good day. The rents re cheap though £18 a day that should go up > 2 for 5p
  • Score: 0

8:19am Tue 19 Mar 13

King Fabulous says...

If there is one thing Accy is not short of its empty shops & stalls, Perhaps this should have been envisaged when they massively expanded the number of stores in the Town a few years ago
If there is one thing Accy is not short of its empty shops & stalls, Perhaps this should have been envisaged when they massively expanded the number of stores in the Town a few years ago King Fabulous
  • Score: 1

12:55pm Tue 19 Mar 13

caballo says...

Moving the bus station 400 yds away should help no end !!
Moving the bus station 400 yds away should help no end !! caballo
  • Score: 1

5:37pm Thu 21 Mar 13

Stop Backenders says...

caballo wrote:
Moving the bus station 400 yds away should help no end !!
The council planning department and pennine reach has killed accrington off full stop.Get rid off them and get some one with common sense open all the roads back up and the carparks like it used to be and stop all these big companys getting planning permission to strip the town bare.
[quote][p][bold]caballo[/bold] wrote: Moving the bus station 400 yds away should help no end !![/p][/quote]The council planning department and pennine reach has killed accrington off full stop.Get rid off them and get some one with common sense open all the roads back up and the carparks like it used to be and stop all these big companys getting planning permission to strip the town bare. Stop Backenders
  • Score: 2

9:37pm Thu 21 Mar 13

doggydog says...

You only have to look at the outside market let alone the rest off the town to see just how bad things have got.Was a bad move years ago when the old market setup was knocked down and replaced with a building to JJB etc. Even that unit stands empty when they went bust.I remember the days on Union st when there was a massive carpark,free and the town was packed out with shoppers. Sadly, moving the bus station will put the final nail in the coffin for our once outstanding town
You only have to look at the outside market let alone the rest off the town to see just how bad things have got.Was a bad move years ago when the old market setup was knocked down and replaced with a building to JJB etc. Even that unit stands empty when they went bust.I remember the days on Union st when there was a massive carpark,free and the town was packed out with shoppers. Sadly, moving the bus station will put the final nail in the coffin for our once outstanding town doggydog
  • Score: 2

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