Market traders in Blackburn said a new location for the funfair could affect their trade during the February half term.

The funfair, which was last year located at the site of the old Thwaites brewery, will move across to the Brown Street car park.

The enforced change is due to a fleet of trucks taking up most of the site of the former brewery.

The Brown Street car park is located next to the bus station and Blackburn Market.

In a letter to a market traders, Blackburn with Darwen Council said this was a temporary change and the Brown Street car park "although busy was made up permit holders who had been allocated alternatives".

The council also said the fair ground operator had already arranged to use the Thwaites site for a fairground in 2024, which would be open to the public from February 18.

There was also a suggestion that the funfair would in fact bring more trade to the town centre.

A  stall holder who said he would relaying the feelings of others in Blackburn Market said: “We have raised our concerns with the council as traders are already struggling.

“We do not think the location is ideal as it will put off many customers who normally park there coming into the town centre.

“The funfair will also take up spots used by traders themselves. We have been given alternative parking but it is not ideal.

“It would be better for the funfair to be at Witton or Corporation park.”

It has been suggested that families visiting the fairground may choose to shop and eat in the market as part of their town centre visit. 

The market trader felt they would not benefit from footfall as the market shuts at 5pm.

He said: “Funfairs are busier in the evenings so we can’t see being of benefit to the town centre traders.

“Moreover, it will put off the regulars during that period as people won’t have anywhere to park close by.”

The council revealed they had acted over concerns that trucks were being parked at a site at Waterside on green belt land. 

Following investigations, it was agreed the trucks would move to the old Thwaites site in January, at short notice.

This meant the funfair that had been planned at the site also had to be moved.

A letter to a trader from Martin Eden reads: “Brown Street car park is a busy car park, however the majority of users are permit holders. 

“There are currently 486 parking permits allocated to Brown Street Car Park, all these permits have been purchased by people who work in the town centre. 

“These permit holders have been allocated parking spaces in the other council owned car parks located across the town centre whilst the fairground is in place on Brown Street car park.

"I am confident that the shopping habits of the 486 permit holders will not change because their place of work hasn’t changed.

“As I am sure you are aware, Brown Street car park also provides pay and display parking and we know from the information provided by our on-site parking machines that on average, Brown Street is used by 252 pay and display customers throughout each day.  

“We also know that the 250 pay and display customers who will be displaced from Brown Street car park can easily be accommodated on the mall car parks.

"The mall has over 1,300 car parking spaces and there is easy access from the mall car parks to the market via the stairs and escalator or via the lifts.

“There are also other council owned car parks and on street parking bays which could also be used by visitors to the town centre.”

Over concerns about anti-social behaviour, the council said the fairground operators "are fencing the whole of the fairground site and will be charging an admission fee to enter the fairground in order to ensure that those who attend the fairground are there to enjoy the rides and not to loiter around".

The letter adds: “The fairground will not take place on Brown Street car park in future years but because of the urgency of the situation, it was decided that Brown Street car park was the only viable option to host the fairground at such short notice.”