A MARKET that bounced back from the brink of clo- sure has been named as the best of its type in the coun- try.

Westhoughton Market has been crowned the best small indoor market by the National Association of British Market Authorities.

In April last year only six traders were based at the mar- ket, but now all of the 33 stalls are filled and there is a waiting list.

Traders have put their suc- cess down to working together and to the support of Jackie Casey, Bolton’s markets man- ager.

Jean Coban, who runs the Jack the Lad Menswear and Lady’s Lingerie stalls, said: “It is absolutely fantastic news, we are all over the moon. The traders have worked very hard.

“We have had a huge increase in revenue. I think we won because we have a lot commu- nity based market events, like a 1940s day, and we are planning something for the Queen’s dia- mond Jubilee.

“I think we will also do some- thing to celebrate considering that last year there were so few stalls — to get this award is just amazing.” Ms Coban, a former local authority social worker, opened her stall after being made redundant.

Cllr Akhtar Zaman, Bolton Council’s executive member for environmental services, added: “It’s fantastic news that West- houghton Market has won a national award and is thor- oughly deserved.

“It’s a great example of how the council and traders can work together and this has resulted in a successful attrac- tion for customers.

“Traders have been enthusi- astic about taking the market forward by suggesting longer opening hours.”

Westhoughton South council- lor David Chadwick said: “So much work has gone into the market. I sincerely hope more people will be attracted to it.”

Westhoughton North and Chew Moor councillor Chris Peacock said: “It’s a credit to the traders and people of West- hougton.

Cllr David Wilkinson. for Westhoughton South, added: “The award is a real success story.”

He is now hoping the market will now get extra funding from the council.