Vote to cut size of Lancaster market deferred

Lancaster market
Image caption Lancaster market on Common Garden Street has just 24 stalls

The vote to reduce Lancaster Market to a single floor has been deferred to give councillors more time to consider the costs.

Lancaster City Council wants to raise funds by renting out the upper floor of the Common Garden Street building.

However, the cost of moving stalls to the ground floor is estimated to be £270,000.

Traders fear this amount, which includes the cost of improvements and moving a cafe, may jeopardise the move.

Peter Corke, chairman of the Market Tenants' Association, said putting the market on one level would save the shopping venue. But he was worried councillors will reject the proposal because of the cost.

He said: "I was absolutely flabbergasted when they came back with that figure. None of us could believe it.

"There is a cheaper way of doing it - and that is by listening to us and just moving the existing stalls down into the empty units."

Mr Corke added: "We just hope it will happen."

Jon Barry, the cabinet member for markets, has pledged to re-assess the cost of the project.

The proposal will be considered at a second council meeting on 16 November.

Lancaster market was saved from closure in April 2010.

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