Feature in the Rossendale Freepress.
It’s been less than two months since entrepreneur Jane Boys took over the management of Rawtenstall market, but dramatic changes are already taking shape and helping to attract new faces.
Jane, who has taken on the reins at the historic Newchurch Road site from Rossendale council on a 12-month trial basis, says her ambition to give the market a facelift appear to be going down well, while a series of new pop-up events in addition to the regular Thursday and Saturday opening is helping restore a buzz around the place.
Crowds enjoyed a ‘Friday night food and social’ event on July 12, while this weekend sees a double header with a Clog Market on Saturday, July 20 promising vintage artisan music alongside food and drink, followed by Rawtenstall Pet Market on Sunday, July 21.
Market Hall refurbishment of the market – carried out personally by Jane alongside Jacs Barker Rourke (aka Mrs Toolbox) – has now been completed with the cabins repainted and an open space to the front. The idea was to make the market hall look more airy, spacious, cleaner and bright.
Jane says: “The works are progressing well. We have removed the clutter and cleaned the market, removed some of the stalls which have been empty for a long time and used the stall bases to create long tables.
“We have salvaged most things, reused wood and found old signs which we have reused for display. We have three new permanent traders and another two joining us in the next couple of weeks with pop-ups able to join us at any market Thursday and Saturday.”
She said: “Overall the feedback has been great; people like the improvements, are beginning to return to the market and traders say the atmosphere and market management has improved significantly. A noticeable increase in parents and children are visiting the market now we have suitable space for prams and wheelchairs.
“It’s very early days yet but I’m working hard and feel we’re going in the right direction. We have been supported by our local council, Alyson Barnes and our MP Jake Berry.”
The market is now baby-friendly and pet-friendly and a quiet room has been created should mothers want to feed their babies or change a nappy in private. There is also a small circus-themed play area for children and people are even invited to come and fill up their bottles with water.