The council says "widespread work" is required to repair the town’s indoor market hall, as it considers options for the building’s future.

Bury's indoor market hall has been closed since October 26 following the discovery of reinforced autoclaved concrete (RAAC) in the building’s roof.

Traders have been presented with the findings of surveyors’ reports into the condition of the hall as the council consider five options for its future.

The reports suggest that dealing with the RAAC, and carrying out other essential repairs to the existing building, could cost at least £6m.

The sudden closure of the market forced 49 stallholders out of the building and into new locations at the Mill Gate Shopping Centre and on Princess Parade.

Bury Times: The indoor hall at Bury MarketThe indoor hall at Bury Market

Cllr Charlotte Morris, cabinet member for culture and the economy, said: “Closing the market hall at short notice was the last thing anyone wanted to do, but it was necessary to protect traders and shoppers in case the roof collapsed.

“We appreciate that the closure has caused tremendous disruption for traders. We have done our absolute best to support them, such as finding them new premises, along with rent-free and utility-free periods.

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“Unfortunately, the ‘quick fix’ we were all hoping for is not available to us, as the surveyors’ reports make clear.”

The five options the local authority is considering for the hall includes a total refurbishment of the existing market hall building.

It will also consider replacing the building with a brand new ‘future-proofed’ indoor market.

Other options include constructing an outdoor covered market linking with the Mill Gate, or the creation of a storage with ‘kiosk-style’ stalls which have landscaped areas between units.

Bury Times: 49 stallholders were forced to move following the discovery of RAAC concrete last October49 stallholders were forced to move following the discovery of RAAC concrete last October (Image: Archive)

It may also decide to extend the proposed new multi-functional flexi hall and canopy project, to expand the three-day market.

The council will now appoint consultants to fully work up the costs and the timescales for each of these options, and report back later this year.

The reports show that the major issue is the RAAC panels within the entire main roof construction and the external loading bay.

Use of RAAC in the roof structure has inevitably exposed the panels to water penetration.

The hall, built in 1971 following a fire which destroyed the former market hall on Kay Gardens, has exceeded its design life.

The external fabric of the building requires widespread work, and improvements are also recommended internally.

Bury Times: Work on a new multi-functional flexi hall will begin this summerWork on a new multi-functional flexi hall will begin this summer (Image: Bury Council)

Cllr Morris said that other factors needed to be taken into account in any decision about the market hall, including the new multi-functional flexi-hall and the joint Venture with Bruntwood to redevelop the Mill Gate.

The plans could include housing and leisure as well as retail.

The council says it has dismissed any plans to install a £500,000 crash deck in the market hall due to its temporary nature, meaning the traders would have to move again one day and suffer more inconvenience.

It added a crash desk could fail shortly after installation, and the crash deck would prevent access to the RAAC roof panels in the event of a localised collapse.

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Cllr Morris added: “All of the options available to us will be considered in depth, and we will keep everyone informed as this progresses.

“Our famous Bury Market dates back to the 1440s, winning countless awards and attracting millions of visitors from across the country.

"We are determined that this will continue, and will ultimately choose the option that best secures its long-term future and ensure it prospers for generations to come.”

More details about the market hall, along with FAQs, are on the council’s website at