More than half of the traders in Bury’s indoor market hall are back in business just hours after the hall was closed.
The stalls were closed last night to allow investigative work to be carried out on the roof and building. This will determine whether any repairs are required, given that some RAAC (Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete) was used in the construction of the building in 1971.
Some 49 traders on the indoor market were initially affected – but 14 stalls on the outside of the building have now reopened, and a further 16 traders have moved into premises nearby. The council hopes to find alternative locations for the remaining traders in the coming days.
The outdoor market, and fish and meat hall, have not been affected and are open as usual.
Councillor Charlotte Morris, cabinet member for culture and the economy, said: “Our famous market is rightly called the jewel in Bury’s crown, winning national awards and attracting visitors from across the country.
“Today, we have seen what team work can achieve. The closure will have caused our loyal traders huge concern, but they have shown great understanding and resilience in moving into new premises so quickly. We are now working on helping them financially as regards rents, utility bills and business rates.
“Our famous Bury Market has been open for nearly 600 years, and we’re not going to stop now!”
The decision to close the indoor market hall at short notice was taken following receipt of an independent buildings report.
Cllr Morris added: “The safety of traders and visitors is our top priority, so we need to close the hall temporarily while further investigations are carried out. After that, we will be able to announce what remedial work needs to be done, and what the timescale for that will be.
“In the meantime, please show your support for our brilliant market traders and come along and snap up the usual range of bargains in our unique market atmosphere.”