A NEW management team has pledged to make their local market a central hub for shopping and dining.

Managing director of Play Market Management Dan Gregson and operations manager Steven Malcolm, who have taken over the running of Rawtenstall Market, say they have ambitious plans for the venue.

Their goal is to see the Rossendale Council-owned market emulate the success of Altrincham Market and Manchester’s Mackie Mayor.

Mr Gregson said: “We want to change the appearance and identity of the market and we are hoping to add a real sense of arrival by reimagining the market approach.

"This includes a redeveloped brand identity, full new signage and a way finding system with a more coherent general aesthetic between the indoor and outdoor markets.”

He added: “My background is in commercial interior design and Steven and I see how great the market could be and how it is has been growing."

This comes after Play Market Management signed a six-year management agreement with Rossendale Council to run the market.

Mr Gregson and Mr Malcolm say that their first task is to get to know the existing traders and build on the market’s history and heritage, while also planning to move it forward.

Mr Malcolm said: “For the market to be successful it has to modernise, but it also has to celebrate its history. We want to reflect that history in the market while also making it accessible and relevant for all age groups.”

In the long term, they aim to open the market on more days of the week, bring people back into town to the market and envisage it becoming an all-encompassing hub where people shop and dine.

Rossendale Council Leader Councillor Alyson Barnes said: “Dan and Steven demonstrate an energy and a passion for the market and they are keen to see it fulfil its potential.

“They have exciting plans to build on the fantastic work that has already been carried out by former market manager Jane Boys and her team.

"The market is a very important part of Rawtenstall’s shopping experience and we wish Dan and Steven every success in their venture.”