Council chiefs have announced plans for a “very significant” overhaul of Accrington’s markets, following criticism.
Conservative leader Coun Peter Britcliffe has written to Hyndburn Council asking for up to £10,000 to be invested on the outside of the market hall, to ‘restore pride’ to the “shabby” area.
Hyndburn council says the outdoor market is a high priority for investment.
Coun Britcliffe said: “I took a walk around the outside market and I have got to say that at best it looks shabby.
“There are some old health boards around most of the stalls which desperately need replacing and the stanchions are full of graffiti. We cannot expect residents to take pride in our town centre if the council does not.
“This is budget setting time and I feel that the controlling group needs to invest at least £10,000 into the centre, if only to give it a lick of paint. If we are to move forward, we at least, have to show we care. Money is tight but I do know we could afford this at least.”
Book stall trader Ian McLaine, who has been at the market for nearly 17 years, supports the calls for investment. The 67-year-old said: “You only have to walk round the market and it’s not very attractive.
“Money on the boards and stalls would be well overdue but they also need to get some flat floors as well to stop problems when it rains. There are a few kids around that seem to make their way in and cause damage.”
Clothes stall holder Farzand Ali, who has been working on the market for more than 50 years, said wider improvements are necessary.
He said: “Instead of just spending money on the boards they need to spend money on the guttering, the flooring and get more free parking. I would rather they spend the money on that than just the stalls.”
Deputy council leader Clare Pritchard, who is cabinet member for markets, said there is ‘very significant investment’ planned in the immediate future.
She said: “Councillor Britcliffe is playing catch up here as he knows we’ve already discussed plans to invest money to do this.
“Accrington town centre remains a very high priority for the council, with very significant investment planned for the immediate future.
“We’re currently putting together the town centre plan in conjunction with the Town Team and the outside market is being considered as a high priority.”
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