Market stalls could move

A FOOD co-operative could open upstairs at Lancaster Market Hall in the latest bid to cut the council taxpayers’ annual £500,000 loss on the building.

With just 29 of the 60 stalls occupied, traders have asked Lancaster City Council if they can all be located on the ground floor to give the market a busier feel.

The move, which could happen as soon as July, would allow the upper floor to be let to other users, an idea first mooted two years ago when abortive plans were put forward to rent the space to a budget supermarket.

This time, two businessmen have expressed an interest in launching a food co-operative upstairs, in which one centralised check-out would sell food for a host of local producers.

They are Phil Wilcock of pork producer Foragers, which has a stall on the outdoor market, and Phil Keenan, whose website promotes local food.

Mr Wilcock, of Hillside Farm in Heysham, said: “The idea is that there would be a space for local producers on the first floor whether they wanted to use it for a day a week or six days a week.

See the Lancaster Guardian (19-05-11) for full story.