A LONG-RUNNING indoor market is to close.

Nelson Indoor Market in the Pendle Rise Shopping Centre in Leeds Road will shut for good on May 31.

Traders will be offered alternative stalls in Colne Market Hall.

The closure, part of Pendle Council’s post-coronavirus budget savings, was confirmed by its chief executive Dean Langton. He said: "This was a difficult decision.

“The indoor market has been in decline for many years and was running at a significant loss each year.

“Only 26 market stalls out a total of 81 were being used by 15 traders and this was the case before the pandemic.

“The market has been two-thirds empty for some time and it is sadly not possible to keep running it at such a loss.

“The future of Nelson Market has been considered a number of times over the past years, due to the losses incurred by the council and reducing numbers of customers coming into the market hall.

To support traders the council has agreed that: • all market traders will be allowed to re-open (assuming the Government lockdown permits) from the April 12; • Pendle Council will not charge licence fees for the months of April and May and we will refund any licence fees paid for this period; • traders who qualify for the government’s Restart Grant should receive the support grant and traders who do not qualify will receive a discretionary grant of £1,000 from Pendle Council, if they relocate into alternative premises; • the council will allow further time from the May, 31 for traders to remove stock, equipment, fixtures and fittings.

Mr Langton said: “We have spoken to the owners/operators of the Suraj and Nelson Bazaar, the owners of Victory Mall and provided contact details for the owner of Pendle Rise Shopping Centre to help traders stay in the town.”

Clover Hill ward’s Cllr Eileen Ansar, who runs stalls at several markets across the North West including Clitheroe, said: “The closure is sad but inevitable.

“It’s been going down and down for years and running at a loss. It is bedraggled.

“I had a stall until 2003. The market been running for more than 50 years and it just wasn’t viable. Traders did not want to go in and many people have stopped shopping in Nelson.”