THE second phase of an ambitious plan to transform Accrington’s Market Hall into a 21st Century haven for traders has been finished.
The work involves transforming the market’s gallery rooms into what will become shop fronts for traders to use.
The work was finished on Tuesday, December 23, when it was handed over to Hyndburn Enterprise Trust which will start working in its new offices in January.
The project is the result of a partnership between Hyndburn Council and No Limits which supports businesses in Accrington and across Lancashire.
People who visit the business haven will be able to get free advice and support from No Limits about starting or running a business.
Aileen Evans, director of Hyndburn Enterprise Trust, said: "The work has combined old and new, but has not lost the atmosphere of the market. When people see the new units, they can’t help but like them. The new businesses which will work here will be right in the thick of it, in the heart of Accrington. They will be able to learn a lot from the established businesses in the market."
Balbir Panesar, managing director of PEC Building Services, said: "This is an excellent team effort, to get to where we are in a very short time. It has been a pleasure working on this site, and I am looking forward to delivering the next phase."
Andy Morris, a director of Quarterbridge, the specialist market consultancy which is managing the project for Hyndburn Council, said: "We are delighted to be handing over phase two on time. We look forward to refurbishing the rest of the market hall in the new year."
Councillor Marlene Haworth, Hyndburn’s Cabinet Member for Finance, Asset Management and Markets, said: "It is absolutely marvellous that we are on schedule. I can’t wait to see the final phase completed. I’d like to thank Quarterbridge, PEC, No Limits and the team at Hyndburn Council for all their hard work."
The next phase of the project which will start in January will see a revamp of the market trading floor, with the old stone floor being restored and new stalls added.