Manchester

Rochdale market saved from closure by trader

Rochdale market Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Rochdale Market had been due to close on Monday

A 768-year-old market that was about to close due to declining business will remain open after a trader stepped in at the eleventh hour to run it.

Rochdale market was due to shut on Monday but the council has agreed to let an unnamed trader operate it, the Local Democracy Service reported.

The authority had been subsidising the market and previously said it had been losing up to £4,000 a month.

Traders had complained the new outdoor market was "not fit for purpose".

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

The market, which obtained a charter in 1251, has been run by the council since September 2018. It is currently located outdoors on the Butts and indoors at the Rochdale Market Foodhall.

According to the council, no traders had showed up on four occasions in the past year - including two Saturdays. However, traders have complained the new outdoor market lacked protection from the elements and basic facilities such as heating and lighting.

In September, the council said the market was losing between £3,000 and £4,000 a month.

It dismissed an earlier proposal by traders to run the market, saying it was "not viable" but bosses have now agreed to let a trader run the market independently when the council relinquishes control on Monday.

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

Councillor John Blundell, the council's cabinet member for regeneration, called the outcome a "win-win" situation, which had "saved the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds".

"I could always see the market working, as long as it had the right people running it."

He said the majority of indoor traders would be relocated to the nearby Wheatsheaf Centre.

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