A PIECE of old Accrington is on the market for a major make-over.
Hyndburn Council’s Cabinet has approved plans to spend £½M on rejuvenating the Victorian Market Hall.
The council originally planned to wait until the next financial year to invest in the scheme.
But it decided it wanted the work to start sooner as the building was in a better state than originally thought.
Building inspection agency Quarter-Bridge has undertaken an extensive structural inspection of the building.
The first phase of the work is now expected to start by Christmas and will include ensuring the building is completely sound.
The second phase will see improvements to the first floor and the creation of additional stalls.
The third and final stage will include redevelopment of the main hall.
The plan aims to create a 21st century shopping experience in a Victorian setting.
In a report to the meeting, Councillor Marlene Haworth, Cabinet member for finance, said: "We expect the work to be completed before the Christmas shopping period in 2009. I am thrilled we are so far along with the project."
Following the presentation council leader Peter Britcliffe welcomed the report, saying: "I am sure this is particularly good news for the people of Barnfield."
Barnfield councillor Paul Barton said: "I am very thrilled. It is needed. I regularly talk to the traders on the market and many of them are delighted with the development.
"This will be wonderful news for the ward and for Hyndburn."
The scheme was approved by the full council on Tuesday night.