Search begins for ‘visionary’ operator of £8m new Bacup market

CGI of proposed market

Rossendale Borough Council is seeking an “experienced and visionary” operator to take charge of the proposed £8.3m Bacup Market, which will be known as Temple Court.

The operator is tasked with establishing the site as a “vibrant destination for residents and visitors”.

The market will feature a new two-storey state-of-the-art market hall on the site of the former Barclays Bank in Market Street, a complete renovation of stalls and the formation of a central social area. It will also have an entrance from Union Street.

It’s expected the operator will have experience in managing markets or similar ventures and will take ownership of the day-to-day operation, ensuring cleanliness, safety and stall management.

It will be obligated to promote community engagement and events – weekly, monthly and annually – by marketing and advertising to attract visitors. The events could, for example, be pop-up stalls, specialist markets or live entertainment.

The facility will also be home to a cycle hub which will build on the excellent cycling networks close by and mark Bacup as an attractive and welcoming place for the cycling community.

A council spokesperson said: “We are looking for an experienced and visionary operator who will establish the market as a vibrant destination.

“The new market is hoped to contribute significantly to Bacup’s sense of place by creating a focal point for residents and visitors and revitalising an essential part of the community. The intention is to attract local traders, artisans and entrepreneurs to help promote business growth in the town centre.”

They added: “Vitally, the market will provide a safe, communal space where people can shop, connect and enjoy leisure time while retaining the town’s historic character, special architecture and manufacturing heritage.”

Architect FWP, of Preston, has started work on the designs based on a vision created in conjunction with retail development specialist Market Curators.

Anyone applying to become the market operator would have to show financial stability and a willingness to invest in the market’s success.

A full planning application is expected to be submitted in June while work is hoped to begin by the beginning of January 2025 and completed by spring 2026.

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