STALLHOLDERS at Radcliffe Market are determined not to let the Covid-19 pandemic halt the momentum the venue had in helping the regeneration of the town.

Over the last few years the market hall has successfully reinvented itself with a dedicated group of volunteers and a host of independent traders turning it into a haven for artisan food outlets and live events with the market’s membership scheme helping the market survive through lockdown.

“We’ve been back open for two weekends now and the weather has meant it’s gone very well,” said the market’s managing director, Ricky Davies, who helped set up the Radcliffe Market Community Benefit Society, a non-profit venture run by a board of local volunteers.

“The members have been paying their subscriptions all the way through lockdown without complaint and within the last two weeks we’ve actually trebled our membership as this is the only way to get a reservation.

“The more people who can take part in our democratic social enterprise the better.”

Seating for 120 people with gazebos has enabled the market to welcome large numbers outside.

“It reminds me of a market abroad and it looks very cool,” said Ricky. “We’re west facing so we get the sun all the way through the afternoon - it’s like Radcliffe Riviera!”

Ricky is hopeful the success of the last two weeks can be replicated as lockdown measures ease.

“Our staff and team have done wonderfully adapting as it’s been a huge effort to reopen,” he added. “It takes nearly two hours to set it up and take it down again but it just feels so good to be back.”

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