Talks over indoor market’s future

Mark Braithwaite.
Mark Braithwaite.

A comic stall holder has begged Lancaster City Council to keep the city’s last remaning indoor market open.

Mark Braithwaite, who runs First Age Comics, said the Assembly Rooms on King Street could become Lancaster’s answer to Camden Market with better promotion by the council.

The Assembly Rooms could be changed into a tea room and food emporium because the market has been struggling for trade, meaning stallholders would have to pack up and leave.

But Mr Braithwaite told the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday: “It needs to be marketed better.

“The rent is unbelievable, £15 per week for a pitch. You can’t get that anywhere else. Start-up businesses need to know about it and take advantage of it.”

Mr Braithwaite said stallholders wouldn’t be against a rent increase if it meant the market staying open.

Councillor Jon Barry said the council should meet with market traders for talks.

“A tea room should never be the only place there,” he said. “Other attractions might be a good idea.”

The Assembly Rooms, housed in an 18th century building, has stalls selling vintage, period and retro clothing, jewellery and accessories, costume hire, comic books and tv/film memorabilia. The top floor is leased to Ludus Dance school.