MARKET traders are on the move as the first phase of Bolton Market’s £4.5 million renovation begins.

From tomorrow traders from the nonfood section of the indoor market will move in to temporary units now in place on the outdoor market.

The non-food section will close at 5pm tomorrow to allow 34 traders selling goods including footwear; bags, make-up, hair accessories; knitwear and electrical goods to move.

They will re-open for business in the new units next Tuesday.

Locally-based contractor Willmott Dixon will then start work to gut the indoor market hall, which was occupied by the non-food traders, so the interior layout can be remodelled and roof repairs can take place.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “The market is one of our main shopping destinations and “I’m really pleased work on this project, which will make our market even better, is now starting.

“Moving the traders in to the temporary units will mean that for a few days the non-food section of the market will be unavailable and I’d like to thank both traders and shoppers in advance for their patience and support.

“I want to reassure people that the market will still be open for business while the refurbishment is underway.”

Other improvements include introducing additional indoor food stalls and a seating area, refurbishing the roof on the fish market and repairing the roof over the hall which contains the fresh fruit and vegetable traders.

Shoppers are being reassured that throughout the work the fruit and veg, and fish section of the market, and shops attached to the market, including Pillings Chipshop and Smarts Clothing will remain open.

Traders are expected to move back in before Christmas, and work to the car park and servicing area will finish in 2014.

Bolton Market opened in the 1930s and is one of Britain’s oldest food markets.

It has won Best Food Market in the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2011, Best Indoor Market 2010 and Tourism Retailer of the Year 2009.

Up to three million people visit the market annually.

The indoor and outdoor market is open Tuesday and Thursday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm.

The car boot market is open Sunday, 7.30am to 2pm.