New Colne Market Hall ideas could keep traders on site and include a cinema

Redevelopment of Colne’s indoor market hall could be done by refurbishing the existing building, instead of demolishing it, and could include a brand new cinema, traders and councillors have been told.

Earlier this year, some indoor market traders raised fears that they potentially faced upheaval or even closure, if they had to leave the hall while it was knocked-down and redeveloped. Some raised concerns about higher future rents and the trend for expensive specialist markets aimed at young ‘millennials.

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But now, alternative proposals have been drawn-up which could mean stall holders stay at the hall site during any regeneration work.

Colne Market Hall

Pendle Borough Council and PEARL Together, a joint venture between the borough and Barnfield Investment Properties, are behind the market hall redevelopment plans using government Levelling-Up funds. But there are time deadlines involved over the next two years, under the government offer.

In recent times, £6.5million in Westminster government Levelling-Up funding has been allocated for Colne. Over £3m. is earmarked for the market hall project. Other money is set for three local Colne theatre and arts buildings.

New market hall ideas were reported to Pendle Council’s Nelson Area Committee this month. They came in an update about the latest meeting of the Colne Market Forum in the summer. The forum a new borough sub-committee focused on the indoor market’s future. It is led by Conservative Councillors Ash Sutcliffe, Sarah Cockburn-Price and Paul McGladdery.

At the Nelson Area Committee, councillors heard questionnaires had been sent to all market hall traders to see what each business needed to keep operating during redevelopment work.

The responses received, together with other comments, suggested that a market hall project focused on refurbishment and reconfiguration would be more viable, due to the costs and logistics of relocating traders during the work.

A further refurbishment-remodelling option of the existing market hall had been drafted along with a new cinema. Plans included energy efficiency upgrades to the hall. It is now also intended to keep market traders’ storage facilities on the site whilst the development was under way.

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Traders will have more opportunities to comment. There would also be a wider consultation with businesses and residents before a planning application is submitted. It was expected that this would be in September. Specific indoor layout plans for the new market hall are expected at a later date.

Meanwhile, outdoor market stalls could be shifted to the Red Lion Street car park, possibly in early 2023 or when work starts.

RENT INCREASES

The report also said rents would likely need to increase. But Pendle Council and PEARL Together were looking at how to keep these as low as possible. The aim was to attract more customers and trade, to offset any rises.

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Ideas to increase shopper visits included having a bigger range of food stalls, probably with a food hall. It was also intended that traders would need to operate at all times and days when the market was open.

The report stated the existing market was currently operating at ‘a loss of almost £100,000 per year’ . Even without the redevelopment proposals, a review of the market and its management was needed, it added. Any management changes would need to be agreed by the Pendle Council when all the options have been considered.

Some speakers at the forum said a number of market hall traders had left their stalls in recent months since regeneration discussions began. This had hit the market hall atmosphere. In reply, some others said that was sad but it had been made clear that no redevelopment would start until 2023.

Traders who attended the Colne forum meeting were Muhammad Anjum, Michaela Wilson, James Wareing, Kevin Wareing, Craig Holden, Kathryn Pana Pauline Hirons, Carol Barker, Amanda Preston, Maureen Hardacre, Linda McQueenie and Joanne Stephens.

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Also in attendance were Lib-Dem Coun Dorothy Lord; Tony Brown of Liberata, a private contractor with Pendle Council which manages properties; Tracy Clavell-Bate of Barnfield and PEARL Together, Joe Barrowclough, an architect, and Julie Whittaker, of Pendle Council and PEARL Together.

Others included Aneesa McGladdery of Colne Business Improvement District, and Mary Thomas of Colne Town Council.

Elsewhere in Pendle, PEARL Together’s regeneration work in previous years has included turning Brierfield Mill into the Northlight development and building new housing estates in different sites.