New designs have been revealed for the multi-million-pound refurbishment of Rawtenstall Market.

It is hoped work will start on refurbishing both the inside and outside market areas next January providing the plans get the seal of approval from the planning committee in October.

Initial work will be carried out inside while the outside market will remain open.

The latest designs have changed the mixed-sex public toilets to separate male and female facilities with an additional baby changing unit.

An exit has been created at the rear of the building onto the car park and four spaces for disabled drivers have been included with a level access to the west of the building.

The report shows the erection of a substation and switch room which will make the power supply to the entire market.

Only alcohol supplied at a central bar sited in the market hall will be permitted and the frontage has been opened up to make the entrance more appealing.

In the market hall there will be an array of street food and fresh food stalls, such as a butcher and a fishmonger.

The work is expected to commence in January, said the council

A Rossendale Council spokesperson said: “Our aim all along has been to ensure the work we carry out enhances Rawtenstall Market’s role as a vibrant social hub.

“The market will remain a cornerstone of the town’s cultural and economic fabric bringing together a diverse array of local vendors, artisans, producers and retailers.

“The intention is to transform the historic building, which was first opened in 1906, into a well-designed and forward-thinking visitor destination using the main market building as an opportunity to create a mixed shopping and dining experience while the outside cabins will focus on retail and artisan goods.

“The investment will make Rawtenstall Market a sustainable thriving asset both for the Valley’s residents and for people from outside the borough.”

Rawtenstall is the third market the council is refurbishing over the next two years.

Work on Haslingden Market has already started and the rebuilding of Bacup Market should begin early next year.