BLACKBURN Market’s first vegan stall has closed just weeks after opening.

The Vegan Deli, which was run by Bev Ormerod and her husband, Dave, opened in the market on August 31.

But just 11 weeks later, the stall now stands empty with all produce removed and signs taken down. 

The deli, which sold vegan samosas, sausage rolls, curries and pies, as well as a range of sweet treats including vegan chocolate brownies and low calorie, vegan-friendly, soft drinks, was the Market’s first exclusively vegan stall. 

Mrs Ormerod said the couple decided to cease trading in the market because of rates.

The 58-year-old said they had leased the stall for three months at half price, but when that ended and they were faced with paying full price, around £750 per month, which she said they just couldn’t afford the cost.

Mrs Ormerod said: “We had a bit of a disagreement with the management as the rates were too high.

“We weren’t selling enough to cover the costs at all.

“I don’t think the market advertised us enough and the rates are ridiculous.

“It’s not just us who are struggling though, lots of new stalls are.

“They could do better by offering us reduced rates for longer, or for free, so people can establish themselves and get a foot in the door.

“If they want to keep new stalls here then they need to do something.”

Mrs Ormerod said she was looking for a new place to set up and will be keeping her customers updated via her Facebook page, The Vegan Deli. 

She added: “The customers that we had were brilliant we want to thank them for their support. 

“We’ll still be doing orders for Christmas so if anyone wants anything they should contact us via Facebook.”

Clare Turner, town centres manager at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “This stall was on a short-term licence until November and this has now finished. 

“We have not had other closures recently but we do have four new stalls which have opened or are opening very shortly, with a possibility of a few more coming soon including cake stalls, a sweet stall and food stalls.”