Stallholders at Darwen Market enjoyed a bumper day as part a special “Celebrate Darwen Market Day” recently.
Since closure of the 3 day market, most traders have relocated into spaces within the Victorian Market Hall or the new look Annexe. The “Celebrate Darwen Market” day saw a host of family friendly entertainment as well as the opportunity for stallholders to assess the move to their new locations one month on.
David Livesey from Woods Fruit and Veg said, “There is a better atmosphere in the market and the feedback from customers is that it looks and feels like a proper market now.
“We’ve gained new customers since the move and everyone, including the traders, are all much positive.”
Steff Rostron from Steff’s Pets added, “After a lot of apprehension and worry, things have turned out far better than expected. Moving from 3 days to 5 has been very hard work but hopefully it will bring its rewards too. I have certainly got new customers that didn’t even realise I have been on the 3 day market for over 20 years!”
Russell Lambert from M&O Fish, who moved from the 3 day market more than 18 months ago, said “The place is full and there is a waiting list for stalls. It feels like a real market again.”
Cllr John Roberts, Chair of the Darwen Town Centre Partnership Board, said: “It’s reassuring to see how vibrant the centre of Darwen has become since stallholders moved from the three-day market into the main annex and market hall.
“Our intention was to enhance the market offer within the town centre and use that to look at future investment and regeneration opportunities.
“I would like to personally thank the market stall holders for how have they responded to the challenges of these changes and welcome the fact that they are seeing the benefits of a higher footfall of customers which is ultimately better for everybody.”
The 3 day market closed in early November, with only a few traders choosing not to make the move into the main market and annexe. Several areas of the market have been reconfigured to make more space for stalls and cafes. Darwen Market opens Monday to Saturday from 8:30 to 5:00pm with a half day on Tuesdays, when the market closes at 12:30pm. The market also benefits from a free car park for customers.