AN exhibition to give traders and shoppers the chance to see the future of Bolton Market has gone on display.

Proposals are due to be submitted to planning chiefs in September for a £4.5 million revamp of the Ashburner Street site which will include replacing the roof, constructing a new glass entrance, and setting up a food court to build on the site’s award-winning reputation as a food market.

Bolton Council has set up an exhibition in the Ashburner Street market.

Traders welcomed the plans but had concerns the improvements could lead to higher rents or that they could lose loyal customers while the work was being done.

The renovations are expected to start next February and end in 2014.

Jane McLaren, aged 51, has run her stall Jane’s Shoes for 18 years and is chairman of the Ashburner Street branch of the Market Traders’ Federation.

She said: “Back in the day, you went to supermarkets for your groceries and to the market for everything else, like your haberdashery or underwear but now supermarkets have got it all there.

“I am worried because I’ve got an established business and customers I’ve had for a long time.”

Ahmed Manzoor, aged 40, who has run Confidence Tailoring for two years, said: “I think it’s brilliant because the stalls are a lot bigger than this one.

“People are worried rents will go up here and if the stalls are empty what are we going to do then?”

Ashy Hussian, aged 40, whose son Tariq runs the Little Star baby stall said the market — which opens Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday — does not compare favourably to Oldham Market, where her family has had a business for the last 25 years.

She said: “Oldham is open six days a week but people keep asking me here what days are we open?”

Shoppers Peter O’Hara, aged 84, and wife Dorothy, aged 79, of Hughes Street in Halliwell , Bolton, said: “We’ve been coming here for donkey’s years and we’ve never had any complaints. It’s got everything we need, although I suppose it could do with doing up.”

The exhibition will be staffed until next Tuesday and then will be unstaffed until Thursday, August 30.

A comments box will be in place and views can also be sent to market