Clitheroe Market revamp back on the agenda

Clitheroe Market
Clitheroe Market

Ribble Valley councillors are set to meet on Thursday to consider how best to revamp Clitheroe's historic market site.

The market had been at the centre of an ambitious £9m. redevelopment scheme, but plans were put on hold in September last year when councillors voted to take a breather in favour of a new Government bid, which would include a wider vision for the town centre. Unfortunately, the bid was unsuccessful.

Councillors and market traders are now being asked to decide on a way forward to breathe new life into the market.

The proposals include a £65,000 funding scheme to improve the look of the market and decide whether to close or refurbish the toilets.

Heather Barton, head of environmental health services for RVBC, said: “The market site has, to date, been purely maintained without identified investment to improve the market.

"A meeting was held with the market traders in June and it has been recognised that without change the market will continue to decline further. It is suggested that improvements in the infrastructure and the local markets may help it grow modestly.

"Significant changes are required within the bullring area. The surface is in a poor condition and presents a safety and accessibility issue. The site is spacious and improvements to the visual appearance of the area would increase the attractiveness of the area, which would encourage greater footfall and create an area where people choose to linger which would improve the vibrancy of the area with the associated additional spending potential. The existing cabins have no uniformity; signage is ad-hoc and in some cases canopies are defective.The market traders have made it clear that they do not want an indoor market arrangement, however, they have sought a covered solution to weather proof the area."

"One of the other concerns raised by the traders was the washing facilities and toilets. They consider that the toilets are not very well utilised. The toilets have been in situ for a number of years and require an investment to make them a more attractive proposition for shoppers in the town."

In September 2017 the borough ditched plans for a new hotel as part of the redevelopment of the market in the face of public opposition.

The original scheme unveiled in July 2016 also included a three-storey market hall, new retail units and a 56-space car park on the historic town centre site.