Lancaster Market ground floor looking up escalator

Lancaster Market was scheduled for closure by Lancaster City Council last year condemning stallholders businesses to a lingering decline, we decided to find out what the current market situation is.

Lancaster Market has been a favourite shopping experience for me since moving to the area over ten years ago now.

I have always been, and remain, a fan of the traditional English market and regularly visit markets around the area, Festival Market, Fleetwood Market and Penrith amongst them.

I remember the computer stall starting just around the corner to the right as you enter Lancaster Market, then it expanded into two areas continued to do well and moved to the far right corner downstairs and expanding into games and music CDs occupied a large area in that corner of the building.

Nothing however lasts forever and as the computer parts market dwindled the stall switched more and more to games eventually ending up as a War-hammer games stall before closing altogether a couple of years ago now.

The space formerly occupied by the computer stall has never been re occupied and now we see that more and more units are closing.

Lancaster Market ground floor looking up escalatorThe jewellers on the ground floor, which I remember when it opened, closed a while ago now as has the lingerie stall and shoe units, more recently all the butchers on the first floor have closed and it is probably fair to say that there are more empty units than occupied now. The market is showing all the signs of being in a terminal decline.

This week I noticed that Hartleys Electrical Services are moving, they are the suppliers of electrical and vacuum cleaner parts on the first floor and also the suppliers of my lucky National Lottery tickets, I say lucky although I have never won anything more than ten pounds, nonetheless I like to buy my tickets at the stall when in town, it feels lucky to me.

Hartleys will be moving to 15 King Street and will be open 6 days a week 9am to 5pm telephone 01524 68257.

There are still a few units holding on in Lancaster Market, the bag stall just inside the door is still open as is the Polish food shop and an African food shop, the mobile telephone stall and carpet stall still look busy and the haberdashery stall must be the best in the area for choice. The pet shop and smoking paraphernalia store are also still going strong.

Upstairs is much sparser with the delicatessen, shoe repair and keys, cheap food shop and two cafés still holding on along with the electrical who are moving.

Trading units still ocupy Lancaster MarketWhat of the future for Lancaster Market? I have always thought that it would make a good entertainment venue, a band playing in the area in front of the escalator and independent bars and cafés in the units around the building what a place that would be. Perhaps if my lucky lottery comes up.

Lancaster Market is set to close at close of business on Tuesday 11th September, the town’s Charter Market will continue to operate on Market Square and Penny Street every Wednesday and Saturday, and the Council continues to run the Assembly Rooms on King Street.

Market lovers will also continue to have Festival Market in Morecambe which is a Council run market.

In the meantime Lancaster Market is open for business and is still worth a visit, I will always be going in there when I am in Lancaster.

Lancaster Market is open from Monday to Saturday (excluding bank holidays) from 9am to 5pm.

By Ray Dexeter.