A MARKET’S longest-serving traders have been told to move their stall, despite concerns it will impact business.

Annette Upton and her husband Andrew have been running Rossendale Blinds on Rawtenstall Market for nearly 30 years.

They occupy unit five, which serves them extremely well but were dismayed to learn last week that the new management will be requiring them to move.

Mrs Upton said: “We have spent thousands of pounds building up our unit that was an empty shell when we took it over with shop fittings, revamping, installing phone and broadband, we have worked our socks off to have the business be our nest egg for our pension, for when we wish to retire. But now all that is in the balance with all this upsetting situation.”

Mrs Upton believes that the new directors have not considered the needs of market traders and that other stalls could be impacted.

However, Play Market Management, which runs the market, said it was working hard to accommodate the stall.

A spokesperson said: "We had originally offered one-month notice to relocate stalls within the market however, after they expressed their concerns around relocating in such a short time, we extended this to Saturday May 15.

“We are keen to keep Rossendale Blinds part of Rawtenstall Market and have offered three alternative locations. We have also offered to refurbish the alternative stall to a very high specification.

“Unfortunately, all of these have been declined by Rossendale Blinds.”

Mrs Upton however, has said that the stall in the indoor market is essential to carrying out normal business, which requires a showroom and space for measurements and fittings.

Rossendale Council has said it hopes to resolve the issue.

A spokesperson said: “Rossendale Blinds operate on a market traders’ licence which means the managing agent can ask them to move stalls with two weeks’ notice.

“We would be pleased to retain this establish business and have offered numerous alternatives which they have declined along with the generous support and relocation package and extended notice period that is over what is required. We continue to be open for further discussion.”