Bury Market traders have shared their thoughts as the council considers the indoor market's future following the discovery of reinforced autoclaved concrete (RAAC).

Last Friday, the council announced it is considering five options for the future of its indoor market, which was forced to close suddenly on October 26, after RAAC was found at the site.

Following the closure, 49 stallholders were forced to move out of the building, into premises in the nearby Mill Gate Shopping Centre or to spaces on Princess Parade.

The council says a surveyors report suggests repairs to the building will cost at least £6m and has presented stallholders with five options for the future of the indoor hall.

These options include a complete refurbishment of the building, the construction of a new building, or an extension of the proposed, new multi-functional flexi hall canopy project.

The council will also consider constructing an outdoor covered market, or the introduction of "kiosk-style stalls".

Bury Times: Chelsea Noone, from CC House of BeautyChelsea Noone, from CC House of Beauty (Image: Harriet Heywood)

Chelsea Noone, who runs CC House of Beauty, is one trader who has moved to the Mill Gate Shopping Centre.

She says an outdoor option would not be suitable for her business.

She said: “Options three or five [the covered market or ‘kiosk-style stalls’] would not be suitable for us. Who's going to want to get their nails done outside in the middle of winter?

“The best option would be to build a new roof or to knock the building down and build it fresh.”

Chelsea, 33, who has run CC House of Beauty for five years, says she is facing some uncertainty over her lease at the Mill Gate, which may need to be renegotiated at the end of the year.

She said: “We're trying to work out how to make sure we stay open, we don’t want to miss this year’s Christmas trade, we’re trying to make sure our future is OK.

Bury Times: Closed doors at Bury Market HallClosed doors at Bury Market Hall (Image: Harriet Heywood)

“We have invested in the market, there is a reason I trade on the market.”

However, Chelsea added the announcement for the options is a positive sign for the future of the market.

She said: “It’s a bit of investment in our future, at the moment our businesses are worthless [as we can’t sell them], we’re just trying to make the best of a bad situation.

“It gives us some hope that things are going to get done, it comes across that the council understands that the market is at the heart of Bury.”

Meanwhile, Karen Simpson, who runs Simpsons Interiors, says she has been hugely affected by the discovery of RAAC and her business has "limped through the last five months".

The business is currently trading at a pop-up stall at the Mill Gate.

And she is concerned that the re-development of the market will negatively impact outdoor traders and the fish and meat hall. 

Karen says visitors want an "old-fashioned market" and fears its "heart" could be destroyed if the right decision is not made.

Cllr Charlotte Morris, cabinet member for culture and the economy, 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.

Cllr Morris added: “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.

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

“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.”