Work on the re-development of Accrington Market Hall has entered the next phase, as preparation begins for the cleaning and restoration of the building.

Plans for the town’s Grade II listed market hall were approved in March, with the re-development including external repairs and alterations to refurbish and improve the building.

The re-development, part of the wider Accrington Town Square Scheme, also aims to regenerate the change of use of the market to allow use for indoor retail and a play area, and the installation of three permanent external cabins for market trading.

The council’s regeneration plans include the transformation of the existing Market Hall to retain the traditional retail operation alongside an enhanced food and beverage offer, conversion of Burtons Chambers into a modern co-working space, and the Market Chambers repairing and refurbishment, enabling transformation into a 'cultural and heritage venue'.

The exterior of the Market Hall is now wrapped in scaffolding as lead contractor Morgan Sindall Construction carries out the next phase.

Jason Ward, framework manager for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “Work is progressing well and is on schedule.

"Internally, we’ve fully isolated all services and completed work on the Changing Places accessible toilet and facilities.

"Over the next few months, visitors to the town centre will begin to see the more visible works being carried out on the outside of the building as we enter the next phase of this development.” 

Plans for Accrington have been developed and led by an independent board, who meet regularly and maintain an overview of the Accrington Town Square redevelopments.

David Sanderson, Accrington Town Centre Board chair, said: “Following a recent meeting with the Council Leader, the Board is really pleased to note his and the controlling group’s support for the Market Hall redevelopment with the intention to deliver a much-cherished traditional Market Hall retail operation alongside an enhanced food and beverage offer that won’t involve national brands but will look to attract local or artisan food providers.”

Councillor Munsif Dad, leader of the council and Councillor Noordad Aziz, Portfolio Holder for Levelling Up, said: “We have now had several meetings with lead council officers and consultants regarding the Market Hall, where we had the opportunity to express our thoughts to the project team.

"Having seen the detailed plans and had in-depth discussions, we now believe the best way to deliver a Market Hall which the residents can be proud of, is for the plans to include a mix of traditional retail alongside an enhanced food and beverage offer. 

"The Market Hall redevelopment is a fantastic opportunity to breathe new life into our town centre and we are pleased to support this project.”

Market traders have taken up occupancy in bespoke cabins on the town square whilst the construction takes place, with traders reporting 'good footfall and trading'.

Councillor Kimberley Whitehead, Portfolio Holder for Town Centre and Markets, said: “I’m pleased that the traders have settled into their temporary home on the square as work progresses, and I’ll continue to encourage Council officers and contractors to keep the traders involved in discussions going forwards.

"I’d also like to take the opportunity to announce that we are trialling the return of the popular flea markets on Thursdays and Sundays.

"We’ll be phasing in this return over the coming weeks. We encourage residents to pay us a visit.”

Temporary stalls will be put up on Broadway and are available to casual traders old and new. Stalls can be pre-booked by calling on 01254 233 816 or 07779964228.