Cost of upgrading historic market in sought-after Ribble Valley town soars by £100k

The estimated cost of upgrading a historic East Lancashire retail hub has soared by £100,000.

Ribble Valley councillors will be asked on Thursday to increase the budget for the modernisation and improvement of Clitheroe Market from £150,000 to £250,000.

The extra cash from the borough’s allocation of £1,967,754 from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is needed for repairs to damaged areas of its ‘bullring’.

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In April the authority’s policy and finance committee authorised spending £150,000 on works including to:

•remove all metal stall units;
•resurface the bullring to make the area more visually attractive and usable for pop up events;
•introduce additional central fixed trading units;
•introduce power supplies throughout remaining bull ring area to support casual trading and events;
•improvements to the surfacing including new paving stones to replace tarmac;
•to provide LED lighting to stalls;
•replace existing roof panels, gutters, and back panels;
•replace the existing tabletops with solid grade laminate panels; and
•chemically steam clean the market toilet / office building.

Now following a new assessment of the refurbishment work Ribble Valley Council’s economic development director Nicola Hopkins is asking Thursday’s meeting of the authority’s health and housing committee to allocate another £100,000 of UKSPF money to the project.

Her report to councillors says: “When the bullring area of the market was constructed, it was not designed to accommodate vehicles and has a sand base. “This results in the paving slabs being more susceptible to damage when overran by vehicles.

“A revised suggestion has been considered as follows: take up existing stone flags for re-use; take up existing stone setts for disposal; take up existing tarmac for disposal; resin bound paving; four Hartecast seats; five Hartcaste bins; LED lighting to stalls; replace existing roof panels, gutters and back panels; replace the existing tabletops with solid grade laminate panels; paint existing lighting; chemical steam cleaning of market toilet / office building/ cabins; and new windows to market office building.

“The main change is rather than repair the flagstones within the bullring area these will be replaced with resin-bound paving. The existing stone flags will be retained and replaced to form the ‘outer’ ring of the bullring and the ‘inner’ ring will be a resin -bound solution.

“Further towards the market car park the tarmac patched areas will be removed and replaced by flagstones from the bullring. One of the casual stalls will be relocated on the edge of the bullring to form more of a circular format of stalls.”

The councillors are recommended to ask the policy and finance committee meeting on June 18 to increase the UKSPF allocation for the market improvements to £250,000.