The markets in Blackburn and Darwen will reopen to the public on Monday 15th June 2020 but there will be changes.
Although the markets have been closed since the end of March, many of the stallholders have been able to continue trading by offering phone and online ordering , with home delivery and click & collect services, which have been praised by new and old customers alike.
The Council Team and traders have been working hard to make the markets “COVID-Secure” and customers at both markets will see some changes to ensure social distancing can be maintained and minimise the risks from coronavirus.
As well as continuing to follow social distancing, customers will also see other changes including one-way systems within the markets, which are clearly marked on the floors. To facilitate the one-way system, only one main entrance and exit will be used. Hand sanitisation stations have been installed and staff will be available to assist and guide customers.
Full details of the changes at each market can be found on their websites and also on social media. Customers are encouraged to use social media to ask any questions they may have.
From Monday 15th June, Blackburn Market will be open Monday to Saturday with slightly reduced hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm. The entrance to the market will be on Church Street and the exit onto Ainsworth Street.
Darwen Market will be open from 15th June on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30am to 4:00pm. The entrance to the market will be from Market Square and the exit onto School Street, via the Annexe. The stairway from the rooftop car park will be closed, so customers are asked to use Railway Road to access the main entrance.
Visitors must realise that some cafés and coffee shops will be open but only available for take-away food and drink to be consumed away from the market.
Councillor Phil Riley, Executive Member for Growth and Development, said:
“It’s good news for our town centres that both markets are able to reopen next week although there will be changes in the way that the markets operate and the numbers of people in the markets at any one time will be limited. The teams at the markets have been working hard to make the changes needed to make sure shopping will be as safe as possible but we will need the help of our customers too. Please follow the directions and information. They are there for the safety of everyone and to comply with government instructions.
“Many of the traders have been doing a magnificent job by offering a range of ordering options to customers, keeping fresh food and essential supplies going out to the community and I’d like to thank them for their hard work.
“We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the markets and hope everyone will continue to support all the small businesses that are at the heart of our local communities.”
You can also find both markets on Facebook and Twitter.