Temporary reprieve for Nelson market traders
Stallholders are breathing a sigh of relief after being told they will be able to open next month in a council U-turn which will enable most traders to shift the stock. However, the historic market will close for good at the end of May.
As reported previously, a decision was made by Pendle Borough Council to close The Admiral's Market Place, situated in the ground floor of the Pendle Rise Shopping Centre, as they could no longer afford to keep it going.
It is understood the market, which houses a variety of businesses including a clothes store, barbers, haberdashery, music and food stalls, has been in decline for many years and was running at a significant loss each year. In fact, only 26 market stalls out of a total of 81 stalls were being used by 15 traders - and this was the case before the pandemic.
Long-standing traders who have struggled during the past 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic said the six-week reprieve was better than nothing.
Ken (77) and Rosemary Holden (73), who have ran the haberdashery stall since the market first opened in 1967, said: "It's not great that the market is closing down, but at least they are allowing us to open and sell the thousands of pounds worth of stock we have. So, we are able to open on April 12th until May 28th."
Ken went onto thank the Nelson Leader, his customers and members of the public for their overwhelming support. He said: "Since news broke of the closure, the response we've had has been fantastic. Everyone has been so supportive and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
"We are looking forward to reopening and welcoming back our customers. And we'll have plenty of special offers including 50% off everything until we close. We plan to enjoy our retirement once the market closes."
Another stallholder Belinda McCarthy, who runs Belinda's Barbers, said she was happy stallholders could reopen and going forward she had a choice to inform her customers of her future plans.
The historic indoor market has traded for more than five decades. In 2017 Pendle Rise Shopping Centre celebrated 50 years since it opened it's doors with reports of rising footfall. In its heydey, it was packed with bustling shops on all three levels of the shopping centre, which was opened as the Arndale Centre in 1967.
Pendle Borough Council has offered to help any trader to find alternative premises so that they can re-open their business.
Coun. Mohammed Iqbal MBE, leader of Pendle Council, said: "The market has been two-thirds empty for some time and it is sadly not possible to keep running it at such a loss.
"Pendle Council is providing market traders with a full list of the possible options. And we have also offered to help traders relocate, including offering temporary storage of their equipment and stock."