COUNCILLORS will discuss plans to increase visitor numbers to Accrington market and ‘bring it into the 21st century’.

Hyndburn Council’s cabinet is considering making changes in part of the indoor market hall by removing some traditional stalls and replacing them with small food and drink outlets to create a social hub.

Also in a separate report for next Thursday night’s meeting, it is also proposed to remove the outside pavilion and canopy and kiosks facing Peel Street and redevelop the area to offer additional short stay car parking.

Cllr Paul Cox, who is the charge of the environment, said: “When I took over the portfolio we looked to consult all stall holders in the market and it became clear that we need to look at different ways to approach it and improve footfall.

“We wanted to make it more of a social hub and have a different food selection.

"To do that we need to look at how to redevelop a section of the hall.

“We still want to keep the current market stall holders and then put a different offering in.

“The face of retail is changing that we have to look at other market towns such as Altrincham and Chester and see what they have and take it on board to bring it into the 21st century.

"We are wanting to engage with the third parties and market traders about it.

“The social hub would mean people can have a coffee and some food and visit the independent traders and see the indoor market taking on a new dimension.”

In the report, it states current occupancy levels are around 55 per cent in the indoor market.

Cllr Cox added the additional parking would benefit the area.

He said: "After meeting with stall holders there was calls for more parking but this would see a row of short stay parking on Peel Street.”