End of the line for Burnley open market traders

Burnley’s open market is set to close four days a week from the end of next month.

Last week traders were given five weeks’ notice to move their stalls out of the open market.

NOT HAPPY: Susan Exton on her stall in Burnley Open Market which is being closed 4 days a week.'Photo Ben Parsons

NOT HAPPY: Susan Exton on her stall in Burnley Open Market which is being closed 4 days a week.'Photo Ben Parsons

Council bosses have offered the four stallholders a reduced rent inside the adjacent market hall for three months but, after Christmas, one trader said she may be forced to give up her business because she cannot afford the higher rate on the covered market.

The weekly bric-a-brac market, which takes place on a Wednesday, will continue to run and the public toilets located there will stay open.

Mrs Susan Exton, who has owned Susan’s Cards for the last 16 years, said she will move her stall inside the market hall until Christmas but said she is uncertain of its future.

“The open market, as you can see, has been dying a death. “There are only four traders left. I’ve written a letter to the council.

“I like coming to work but I can’t afford the rent in the closed market. After Christmas I’ll be back to square one. I’ll have to re-assess the situation. They could at least let us stay until Christmas.”

MP Gordon Birtwistle said the decision to close the open market was “outrageous.”

“I don’t understand what the council is doing. Some traders will just leave Burnley. Why is the council not supporting and investing in the market rather than shutting it down? People come from all over Burnley.”

Burnley Council’s head of facilities management, Mr Colin Hill, said: “We also have to recognise current trends and react accordingly and, as part of that, the way we use the space in the markets is continually under review.”