Changes ahead for historic street market

A busy Market Street in Lancaster on market day.
A busy Market Street in Lancaster on market day.

Lancaster’s Charter Market is to undergo a facelift as part of a bid to improve the look of the city centre.

Lancaster City Council’s cabinet agreed this week to alter the layout of the historic street market as part of the city centre’s improvement works.

Two potential layouts were presented for consideration.

Cabinet members opted for a layout which sees the market retain its current footprint of Market Street, Market Square and Cheapside, with two stalls added in Market Street.

All existing permanent traders will still be able to trade from pitches within this footprint, although some will see a change in the size of their stalls.

There will be no restriction on the type of goods sold in Market Square but stalls given pitches will be expected to be presented to a high standard.

The council expects all stalls to be of a good appearance and pitches be left neat and tidy in order to complement the new look for the 
city centre.

To expand the market, new traders will be allocated pitches in Church Street or New Street if there are none vacant elsewhere.

The new layout will be monitored and may be altered if necessary.

Plans to turn Market Square into a ‘food court’ style zone were however not implemented.

Coun Jon Barry, cabinet member with responsibility for markets, said: “I’m glad that the debate about the argument is finally over and traders can get back to selling their wares – hopefully with a degree of security about the future.

“The outdoor market is a jewel in Lancaster’s crown and I am glad that the cabinet has recognised this.”

Coun Eileen Blamire said: “We want to see a thriving market and a thriving 
city centre.”

After the meeting, a group of traders who attended said: “We believe all market traders will welcome the decision to avoid a major overhaul of the market and are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support shown by the public and local businesses over recent months.

“The cabinet were positive towards the market and are keen on a flexible implementation of the changes, which is welcomed. We would like to thank the cabinet for coming to this decision.”