A MASTER plan is being put into effect at Radcliffe Market with the view for it to become "a centre piece for change".

Since new management took over the running of the site three months ago, a huge programme of repair works, building improvements and renovation has been under way.

Modifications have been made to the plumbing and heating systems, thanks to a £13,700 grant from the Lottery's Bright Ideas fund, which has also supported the market in its first quarter's trading.

Last month, the directors secured "significant capital funding" to enable a second phase of infrastructural change involving the installation of extraction systems. It is hoped work will be completed before January.

Over the past three months, the market hall has been used to host several community gatherings, including comedy nights, dog shows and township forums, with other events booked in for the coming weeks.

The changes are being implemented by the new team — Radcliffe Market Hall Community Benefit Society (RMCBS) — which is a democratic members organisation made up of volunteers and residents, with a board of directors.

Communities Director Cllr Rhyse Cathcart said: "I want Radcliffe Market to be a centre piece for change — one which creates learning opportunities for local people and gives them choice.

"Evolving the concept of traditional markets into a consumer experience that offers more to communities can help re-invigorate the local economy and restore civic pride.

"In the longer-term RMCBS wishes to create a hub for young entrepreneurs who have a passion for cooking."

Further long-term plans include installing new permanent kitchens in the market to create a hot food area, and lowering the heating panels in the ceilings.

Traders will be expected to uphold three pillars which form the vision of RMCBS:

n Connecting people to fresh and local food

n Creating pride, respect and community spirit

n Creating change by acting sustainably and ethically

RMCBS will also work alongside Ambition for Ageing Bury to provide afternoon cake and cabaret afternoons.

Cllr Cathcart said: "RMCBS have been delighted at the response by the community and traders are excited about the vision and investment that is happening in the market."