More than a dozen Bury Market traders remain unable to open for business as Christmas approaches after being forced to close more than five weeks ago.

On Thursday, October 26, 49 stallholders based in the indoor market were given an urgent order to shut following the discovery of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) used in the construction of the building in 1971.

While 29 stallholders are now back in business, 17 remain unable to trade while alternative premises are sought in the town centre through the council.

Traders say that with less than a month before Christmas, they are losing vital revenue while an initial £300 food and fuel payment issued by the council has not stretched far enough.

Chelsea Noone, 33, who has run CC House of Beauty at the market for five years, says she has been unable to trade since October as her business has not been provided with an alternative premises.

Bury Times: Bury indoor Market Hall has been closed since October due to RAAC concernsBury indoor Market Hall has been closed since October due to RAAC concerns (Image: Newsquest)

She said: “It’s been absolutely shocking management, we have basically been left to fester.

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“It’s been five weeks and as you can imagine £300 doesn’t go far and we have no other means of income.

“We feel like we’re being ignored.”

Chelsea said some traders have taken the offer to move to the outside market but adds that they too have taken a hit in earnings due to reduced market days.

She added: “They have taken a hit for being able to trade from six days to three days a week, but they are desperate.”

Bury Times: RAAC concrete was discovered at Bury Market in October, prompting an urgent closureRAAC concrete was discovered at Bury Market in October, prompting an urgent closure (Image: Newsquest)

“(The council) have told us to go and claim on our insurance but they won’t pay up on RAAC.”

RAAC is a building material which is cheaper than standard concrete but more susceptible to water damage and has a life span of around 30 years.

It hit the headlines earlier this year after being discovered in schools, raising concerns about the safety of buildings.

The council says site investigations will be carried out to determine what remedial work needs to be done and that a more substantial package of financial support is being worked on.

In the meantime, the council has put a hold on all rent payments and business rates and has also agreed to provide traders, and their employees, with an emergency package of support, including a £300 food and fuel payment, and a £100 council tax credit for those who pay in Bury.

Sophie Aldrid, 32, also rents a space at CC House of Beauty and says she "isn’t coping" without the income from the business and is losing Christmas revenue.

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She said: “I’m just scraping by, I’ve had to borrow a bit of money.

“We earn a lot of money at Christmas, (the council) keeps saying we’re going to get keys to a new premises and then backtracking on that.

“They’ve left us with no income, they are not covering any loss of earnings and they just give us this £300 and expect it to last forever.”

In response, a council spokesperson said that 29 or the original 49 traders affected are back in business, while three have declined offers of alternative premises.

The spokesperson added that the local authority has agreed with the remaining 17 tenants to set up an alternative location in council-owned properties and in the Mill Gate Shopping Centre.

The council said it is also working on the transfer of leases and necessary safety checks.