WORK starts soon on a £110,000 Clitheroe Market makeover featuring heritage-style signage, new canopies and revamped loos.

The spruce-up is the first step in a scheme to breathe new life into the 800-year-old market by owner Ribble Valley Borough Council.

As well as the installation of a retractable canopy system and hand-painted timber signage, unused stalls will be removed from the bullring and a quarterly market liaison group set up.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “Markets offer many economic and social benefits, such as encouraging entrepreneurship and civic pride, and fostering a sense of community, but they are under threat from changing shopping habits.

“Clitheroe Market has not had any improvements in recent years and we met traders in June to identify a number of key improvements, such as removing unused stalls from the bullring and better weather protection.

“These refurbishments are the first step in maintaining and enhancing Clitheroe Market’s loyal customer base."

The makeover starts soon and is anticipated to be completed by Christmas.

Clitheroe has hosted a regular market since the Norman Conquest in the 12th Century.

On market day – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – over 80 stalls sell a range of goods.

The market had been at the centre of an ambitious £9 million redevelopment scheme set to include a 60-bed hotel but the project was scrapped earlier this year.

The highly controversial Clitheroe Market redevelopment scheme had been at the centre of widespread debate for a number of years but was officially thrown out by bosses at a meeting of the policy and finance committee in January.

Members instead began work on a Government bid in the hopes of securing a chunk of the £675 million earmarked as part of the Future High Streets fund.

But the bid was unsuccessful and now council members have decided on a way forward to breathe new life into the market.