A VITAL behind-the-scenes aspect of the world-famous Bury Market is set to receive a much-needed boost.

Fresh funding has been pledged for a new flexi-hall at the market as part of £20m government ‘levelling-up’ funding.

But a more practical problem has been causing annoyance to traders, especially food purveyors.

Stallholders have become frustrated at the reliability of the good lifts, servicing the market hall’s basement, which date back to the Market Hall’s opening in 1971.

One of the lifts, located near the fish and meat hall and the deli Katsouris, is said to be beyond repairs.

And one of the two remaining lifts is reported to be only recommended for goods, not passengers.

Plans have now been approved for three replacement lifts to be installed, via a tendering exercise which also incorporates architects fees.

And operational director Donna Ball, after consulting with cabinet member Cllr Allan Quinn, has authorised the £345,885 cost, to be found from the borough’s capital programme.

In a report, Simon Green, service lead for the markets, said: “The Market Hall lifts provide trader access to the basement for essential storageand prep areas.

“As the majority of these basement areas are utilised by some of the busier traders, especially in the food category, frequent visits are made throughout the trading day and when servicing stalls.

“Traders rely on the lifts to provide safe and efficient access to the basement, often to manoeuvre large quantities of goods using trolleys.

“As the number of operational lifts has reduced to 2, and these lifts are unreliable, traders are becoming disgruntled and taking risks.

“Goods are being carried up and down stairwells, causing health and safety hazards and congestion.

“Trolleys are being wheeled, and goods carried further across the Market Hall causing disruption and risk to visitors.”

Mr Green also told councillors that the lifts were important when it came to removing waste from around the market.

Traders also paid for the basement units, where goods are stored, as part of their rents.