STALLHOLDERS at the newly-revamped Bolton Market were left cold and without power after council contractors came in a week early and cut off their electricity supply.
Angry traders complained they were given no notice that power was going to be off as they lost lighting and heating at about 11am yesterday.
The traders, many of whom also had to endure being moved out of the indoor market in February last year, were forced to trade in the dark without heaters.
Bolton Council said traders had not been warned of the work because it was not meant to happen until next week.
It issued an apology to the stallholders left without power as a result of the mix-up.
The power remained off all day yesterday and the council promised to install temporary generators by the next trading day tomorrow .
The incident came just three days before the new £4.5 million “lifestyle hall” is due to be officially opened by council chiefs and TV chef Simon Rimmer.
It is understood that the electricity meters were torn out by contractor ahead of the demolition of the former Age Concern building in front of the outdoor market.
The stalls affected are set to move across the market to the plot next to Pilling’s chip shop fronting on to New Street.
Janet Crook, who runs a book stall in the outdoor section, said: “They told us we were going to get it back later on. Nobody had been round to warn us that it would go off.
“It’s ironic because the power has always been a problem — when the lady next door was open, we had to warn each other we were making a brew as if we had both kettles on at the same time, the lights would trip.”
A council spokesman said: “We are sorry that some stallholders had to work without power.
“We are working hard to resolve the issue and hope to have temporary generators in place by Thursday.”