A FORMER Darwen school student is to consult the town about what they would like to see go in place of the three-day market as part of a major project.

Liam Dargan, who attended Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, said he was inspired to do a project on the markets when he noticed how empty the place was and how the stalls did not really appeal to young people.

His idea came before Blackburn with Darwen Council earmarked the market for closure last month after a review highlighted a drop in footfall.

Mr Dargan said he now wants to find out exactly what people would like to see replace the 46-stall market.

The 21-year-old said: "I went to the three-day market at Christmas to get a present for my girlfriend who's the same age as me and I just found that there was nothing that really appealed to me.

"There's got to be around 2,000 young people in Darwen now with three high schools and when I went to DACA to ask about whether they visited the markets not many of them did.

"I think people think markets aren't for young people but I disagree after living in London where plenty of stalls do appeal to people my age.

"I think it needs to become an adaptable space that can be used day and night but really I believe that it is very important to involve people of all ages from Darwen in the creative process when it comes to the three-day market’s replacement.

"My project is a great opportunity to give people of Darwen a place to have their say. The market traders and managers were extremely helpful with my project and I'm excited to use my research to hopefully improve Darwen Market."

Mr Dargan, who studies graphic design and photography at Kingston University, filmed, photographed and surveyed people in and around the market, and also visited DACA to discuss it with the entrepreneurship team and students in year seven and sixth form.

He is due to meet with the Darwen Town Centre Partnership Board next month where he hopes to present his findings.

Sunnyhurst councillor Dave Smith said he was looking forward to hearing more about Mr Dargan's project.

He said: "There will be a big consultation about what people want to go in that space and I'm eager to see what opinions Liam collects and what he suggests."