MARKET traders have expressed concerns about how the planned town centre development could impact their livelihoods.

The Moor Lane development, due to begin in Spring 2022, will see the old bus station transformed into housing, with the market being upgraded as part of the plans.

Martin Farrimond of Deli Boys, said: “The problem is, whatever they do whether they demolish or upgrade the market, there is going to be a period of time when the market is unusable and when that happens there will be a period of time when stall holders incomes drop dramatically.

“My first worry is that at the moment, Bolton Market in my opinion is a gem but what they’re going to do it obviously change things around so it may not be the attraction that it was.”

He added: “My second worry is, what plan have they got to compensate stall holders whose income may drop as a result of the upgrade?

“It seems to me that Bolton Council is afraid of telling the whole story in case it doesn’t go down well.”

The Bolton News:

(Masterplan for the town centre)

However Bolton Council says any effects should be minimal.

A Council spokesperson said: “The only part of the existing footprint of the market to be affected is the access road.

“This will be moved towards the market by approximately five meters.

“We are currently working up the plans for this to ensure there is minimal impact on the car park for the market.

“The Moor Lane residential development should have a positive impact on the market as it will create a new customer base.”

Bolton Council has also said that the current car park will survive the development.

Under the plans for the old bus station, 198 housing units will be built on the 1.519 hectare site.

Expanding on how the scheme aims to “upgrade” the market, the spokesperson said: “The proposal is to upgrade Bolton Market to improve the customer experience expand the variety of businesses and the flexibility of spaces, open up the Market for evening uses and modernise the building whilst maintaining the feel of a traditional market.

“This will revitalise the market, attract new customers and kick-start the town centre recovery.

“The investment provided by the Towns Fund is over £5million.

“We are currently finalising these proposals and will be meeting with the Market Management Team and traders to discuss in more detail in the near future.”