RAWTENSTALL Market is buzzing with footfall increasing and there are new stalls both on the inside and outside.
Jane Boys and her team took over the management of the council-owned Newchurch Road market in May 2019 and since then a transformation has taken place.
On the last Saturday before the Covid lockdown, between 8am and 2pm nearly 700 customers were counted at the market.
One of the successful new indoor market stallholders is Claire Green, who has her own bakery in Stockport.
Claire said: “Jane suggested I might want to try opening on Rawtenstall Market and in June last year we took over our first stall.
“She said that what we offered was something the market didn’t have.”
As an artisan food business, she had been working on Jane’s Clog Markets for two years.
Such was the demand, it was not long before Claire took on a smaller stall, but because it was away from the main business it was tricky for staff to manage both locations.
When an adjacent stall became vacant, Claire Green’s Bespoke Cakes and Bakery seized the opportunity and knocked through extending her ‘shop front’ and enabling the business to stock more food to meet demand and offer a larger seating area for customers.
She said: “By December we had surpassed our forecast for the first year and at Christmas we sold 600 boxes of mince pies. We have grown more than we thought it would in a very short time.”
During the lockdown the stall offered a home delivery service and after five weeks they were able to reopen on the indoor market. Fellow stallholders helped with deliveries.
Claire said: “People here are so nice and customers leave wonderful feedback. I like to be on trend and so am always expanding the range we provide. I employ local people to run the stall and buy in from local providers.
“Opening in Rawtenstall was the right move for us.”
When Jane took over last year, nearly half the indoor and outdoor stalls were empty. The transformation saw some being removed and others repurposed to form movable dining tables that doubled as stalls for pop up traders.
New events were introduced including a vintage market, Friday night social and a Sunday food market.
Last December, at Rossendale Business Awards, the market and the traders won the top trophy the Valley at Work Award.
Rossendale Borough Council is currently tendering for a new management team to take over the running of the market.