A YEAR of suffering out in the cold will come to an end tomorrow for a group of market traders.
Bolton Market’s new indoor hall opens to the public for the first time, ending a 12-month exile in the outdoor market for traders of non-food items.
About 30 per cent of the traders will be new to the market.
Bolton Council chiefs have attracted stalls selling exotic plants and coffee, as well as a real ale pub to help boost the market’s appeal.
As part of the £4.5 million revamp, the roofs of the eastern hall, fish market and fruit and vegetable room have been refurbished, while indoor food stalls and a seating area have been added.
Jane McLaren, who owns a footwear stall, said: “The last year has been very hard, although we have a group of clients who are quite established, so we managed just about.
“I think it’s fabulous, I love it. Everybody who is here is so excited and enthusiastic. This is a massive injection of life into the market.”
Tony and Joanne Crompton are delighted to be returning indoors to reopen the greetings stall they have run at the market for 30 years.
Mr Crompton said: “We’re getting our old plot back in the same place.
“They last did some work here in 1993 and this is how it should have been done then.
“It is so much cleaner and brighter.”
New stalls include The Coffee Grind which is being opened by Nigel Lyons and his teenage daughter Melissa.
It will serve 10 types of ground coffee, as well as the coffee beans and equipment for people wanting to make coffee at home.
The stall will also put on workshops.
Former lorry driver Mr Lyons said: “We are fed up with the selection of coffee available at the supermarkets.
“We just decided to put everything we had into it. We looked at shops in Bolton, but as a new business finding somewhere that is affordable is impossible.”
A different addition will be a real ale bar run by Daniel and Gina Buck.
Great Ale Year Round will stock ales and ciders from local micro-breweries, available in bottles to take away or in pints to drink on the spot.
Mr Buck said: “Both of us have worked in pubs before and we just thought this would be a great next step.
“A lot of people are using markets at the moment and it is a really natural thing to stop off for a quick pint while you are out shopping.
“The market looks great and will be perfect for us with the amount of passing trade.”