Council green-lights Rawtenstall market refurbishment

By Tim Aldred

25 Mar 2024

Rawtenstall Market Drawings

Rossendale Borough Council has given the go-ahead for the multi-million-pound transformation of Rawtenstall Market into a 'vibrant social hub'.

The project will now be put to the planning committee for approval in the next few months.

Following several public consultations the Stage 2 Report to Cabinet underlined that the market will remain a cornerstone of the town’s ‘cultural and economic fabric bringing together a diverse array of local vendors, artisans, producers and retailers’.

It is hoped the work – which aims to make the market sustainable and energy efficient – will begin in January next year. Rawtenstall is the third market the council is refurbishing over the next two years. Work on Haslingden Market is expected to start in early summer and Bacup next year.

The intention is to transform the historic building – first opened in 1906 – into a well-designed and forward-thinking visitor destination using the main market building as an indoor food hall serving hot and cold foods with eight new hot food outlets while the outside cabins will focus on retail and artisan goods.

Plans also show flexible indoor and outdoor spaces for day-to-day trading, community events and seasonal occasions. A bar serving alcoholic drinks will be sited to one side of the outside hub.

A council spokesperson said: “The project is all about bringing the market and surrounding area up to modern-day standards and the market traders have been involved in the evolution of the design.

“The purpose is to address existing challenges such as inadequate facilities, poor thermal performance, persistent leakage issues, poor ventilation, inconsistent stall sizes and unclear circulation routes which hinder the user experience.”

The market’s street presence is to be improved especially from the direction of Bank Street as well as improved visibility of the Market Hall.

Architects working on the project Gareth Hayhoe, a director of DAY Architectural, of Manchester, and his colleague Ryan Lawlor both live in Rossendale.

Gareth said: “I have been visiting Rawtenstall Market since I was a child so I obviously have a vested interest in the project not only professionally but as a regular user. So, I want to make the market a success not only for now but for generations in the future.

“The market is already a thriving hub and it isn’t our intention to make radical changes to it. But we do want to make it a jewel in the crown at the end of the main shopping street.

“As an East Lancashire town Rawtenstall is unique for shopping in that it is still very much a town of local traders like the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. And that is what makes it so special and why people from out of town come to visit us.”

The project is to be funded by Capital Regeneration Project supported by Levelling Up which Rossendale Borough Council successfully secured in Spring last year.

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