Council bins plans to move market

Lancaster Market
Lancaster Market

A CONTROVERSIAL proposal to move Lancaster Market into the City Museum looks set to be scrapped following recommendations in a consultants’ report which cost taxpayers nearly £20,000.

City councillors agreed in February that the idea – which could have seen the 18th century museum building in Market Square extended, with exhibitions moved to the first floor or elsewhere – should be investigated.

But Coun Jon Barry, chairman of the Lancaster Market Cabinet Liaison Group, will recommend that it is thrown out at next Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

He will instead propose that all traders should move to a refurbished ground floor of the existing market building in the Marketgate Shopping Centre – freeing up the upper floor to be let to another operator.

Lancaster City Council leases the building from Marketgate Shopping Centre owners Allied. But with half of the 60 market stalls vacant, it faces a £580,000 annual deficit.

The new proposals have been hailed “a victory for common sense” by the Friends of the Museum, and market traders.

See the Lancaster Guardian (21-07-11) for full story.