MARKET traders are set to be offered up to a 50 per cent discount on rents to tempt them to establish stalls in Burnley.

Several plans have been drawn up to entice more stallholders to the market.

Markets manager Colin Hill said efforts were being made to widen the appeal of the market, which dates back 718 years.

He said: “Burnley Market is offering for prospective tenants a range of lease options ranging from three months up to three years.

“This is effectively to enable newcomers to try before entering into what would normally be longer term leases.

“To help this along we are also prepared to allow a four-week trial period.

“For those newcomers looking to trade in lines that we do not already have we have agreed with the tenants’ association to offer heavily incentivised schemes for those prepared to commit for a first 12-month period.

“These leases start off at very high discount levels with the discount then reduce as they approach the end of the lease with the intention being that trade has built up enough to then warrant taking on a full paying.

“Across a year, that equates to a 50 per cent reduction in what they pay.

“Those trading in the same lines as existing tenants will pay the same as those tenants.”

Funding of £343,000 has still been included in this year’s council budget for improvements to the open market, off Curzon Street.

The market is currently around 80 per cent occupied with around 90 stalls. Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle was pleased to hear the market was “performing well” but said he had been approached by some stallholders who still had concerns for the future and council leaders had agreed to meet a delegation in the near future.