Decision on new location of Nelson outdoor market delayed

Nelson Market (S)
Nelson Market (S)

A DECISION on whether to move the location of Nelson’s weekly outdoor market has been deferred until after the Pendle Council elections in May.

The change of location of the Friday market was set to be decided at a closed doors meeting on Tuesday evening but a lack of attendance from council members meant a verdict on its future could not be made.

According to Pendle Council, the idea to move the Friday market from its current position on Market Street to the former Palace Bingo Hall site by Pendle Wavelengths was made because the location on Market Street was only ever a temporary one.

If it is decided the market should move, it’s likely it won’t be with immediate effect and it will also have to go to the vote of councillors at a Pendle Council’s Nelson Committee meeting.

However, with the recent news that Nelson is to lose its Argos store in the summer, town centre traders are outraged by the proposal and feel it would be a further, and unnecessary, blow to Nelson.

Mr Nicholas Emery, owner of Emery Electronics, who sits on the Nelson Committee as part of the Nelson Town Centre Partnership, believes one of the reasons the market may move is because the council fears market stalls will damage the newly-laid stone flags.

He said: “It just shows how much interest our councillors take that just a few turn up.

“I don’t want it to move - all the stallholders and shop keepers don’t want it to move and a lot of the public I speak to like the position of it.

“It gives a very busy feel to Nelson where it is and the atmosphere is good. Do you want a thriving town like Nelson was 30 years ago or a few scratched stone flags?

“People wouldn’t cross the road to go to Tesco and that closed, so they aren’t going to cross the road to go to the market.”

Mr Malcolm Whalley, a stallholder and furniture store owner, said: “I’ve had run-ins with the council in the past about the market as I’ve gone from having the most prominent position to having the worst since they started the work on the road.

“It used to be worth me closing my shop to have a market stall as I used to make £400 to £500. Last week I made £30. Moving it there (the former Palace Bingo Hall site) purely and simply won’t work. People won’t want to cross the main road.

“I don’t know why they can’t close the road through the town for one day a week. It’s called Market Street and history tells you that is where the market should be.”

Mr Paul Collins, Assistant Economic Development Officer at Pendle Council, said: “The market’s location on Market Street was only ever a temporary solution as it has moved around the town centre as the work being done has progressed.

“The council may say it’s fine where it is. We’ll take on board points made by market managers and hopefully get the matter resolved after the elections.”