Work has started on redeveloping Haslingden Market while the first stage of work towards a new Bacup market hall has been completed, Rossendale Council has said.

And elsewhere, new images show how Rawtenstall’s market hall could look in the future including a new indoor food hall and outdoors stalls.

In Haslingden, the central part of the market area, off Blackburn Road and behind Deardengate, is being removed by diggers to make way for a £500,000 redevelopment. That will include an open area for events and covered seating for customers visiting food stalls in future.

The open-air area will be used for music and drama with temporary seating, mini festivals and one-off special markets, Rossendale Council says. Work, including upgrades to market traders’ cabins, will be completed by the early summer.

Rossendale Council is spending £200,000 on the Haslingden work and the remaining £300,000 will come from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Meanwhile at Bacup, the former Barclays Bank building in Market Street has now been demolished, as part of work to build a new two-storey market hall, to be called Temple Court. There will be two entrances to the redeveloped market hall with the other from Union Street.

Lancashire Telegraph: Artist impression of Bacup market hall, to be called Temple Court

Facilities at the new hall could include cycle hire facilities and other attractions linked to boosting Rossendale tourism

Once full planning permission is given for the £8.3million project, further demolition and rebuilding work is expected to begin early in 2025 and completed by the summer of 2026.

Funding has been secured by Rossendale Council including from the Levelling-Up Fund.

The Haslingden and Bacup market projects are part of a wider range of town centre schemes in Rossendale.

The multi-million pound refurbishment of Rawtenstall Market was recently given the green light by Rossendale Council’s cabinet. It will go before the borough’s planning committee in coming months.

At Rawtenstall, the council hopes the proposed work will make the market sustainable and energy-efficient, and begin in January 2025. The aim is to change the market building, first opened in 1906, into a visitor destination using the main area as an indoor food hall with eight new hot food outlets. Outside, cabins will focus on retail and crafts.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rawtenstall Market artist impression

New artist impressions have been released by the council, showing flexible indoor and outdoor spaces for day-to-day trading, community events and seasonal occasions.  A bar serving alcoholic drinks will be sited to one side of the outside hub. Better signs will also direct visitors to the market from  nearby streets.

A Rossendale Council spokesperson said: “The project is all about bringing the market and surrounding area up to modern-day standards and the traders have been involved in the evolution of the design.

“The aim is to address existing challenges such as inadequate facilities, poor thermal performance, persistent leakage issues, poor ventilation, inconsistent stall sizes and unclear circulation routes for customers.”

The architects working on the project are Gareth Hayhoe, of DAY Architectural in Manchester, and colleague Ryan Lawlorw, who both live in Rossendale.

Gareth said: “I have been visiting Rawtenstall Market since I was a child so I obviously have a vested interest in the project, not only professionally but as a regular user.  I want to make the market a success not only for now but for generations in the future.

“The market is already a thriving hub and it isn’t our intention to make radical changes. But we do want to make it a jewel in the crown at the end of the main shopping street.

“As an east Lancashire town, Rawtenstall is unique for shopping in that it is still very much a town of local traders like the butcher, the baker and the candlestick-maker. And that is what makes it so special and why people from out-of-town come to visit.”

DAY Architectural were also consultants for Rawtenstall’s new bus station and carried out work for the redesign of The Whitaker museum and visitors’ centre. The project is to be funded by Rossendale Council and government funding which was secured last year.