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Rochdale market to close after 768 years

Market stalls on Yorkshire Street, Rochdale Image copyright Local Studies Centre, Touchstones Rochdale
Image caption How the market stalls on Yorkshire Street used to look

A market which has been running for 768 years is to close because it is "no longer financially viable".

The Local Democracy Reporting Service reports Rochdale's outdoor market and indoor food hall is to cease trading on 14 October.

Rochdale Council, which has been running it for a year, said it has been losing up to £4,000 a month and on four days no stallholders have turned up.

Traders have complained the new outdoor market is "not fit for purpose".

The market, which obtained a charter in 1251, has been run by the council since September last year.

The current market is located on the Butts and the Rochdale Market Foodhall in the former Santander building.

According to the authority, on four occasions over the past year - including two Saturdays - no traders have showed up and the indoor market has also struggled, too, with just two traders and a cafe.

However, traders have complained the new outdoor market was "not fit for purpose", lacking protection from the elements and basic facilities such as heating and lighting.

Image caption Debbie McGinty (left) said she and her staff are shocked by the decision

Debbie McGinty, who owns Montagues Cafe, said she was in "total shock" about the decision.

"We've worked so hard to get this cafe up and running," she said.

"As a business to be told you've got to get out in 28 days, there's no way it's going to happen."

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Image copyright Local Democracy Service
Image caption Rochdale obtained a market charter in 1251

Council leader Allen Brett said efforts to maintain the market, including rent-free periods to traders have not worked and a proposal for stallholders to run it were said to be "not viable".

Mr Brett said the market was "only closing in its current form... we will still have the artisan market" which is staged one Saturday a month and said other special events would continue.

"We have still got the market charter," adding that it was "not fair on tax payers" to continue subsidising it.

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