Market closure date

PIECE Hall open market will close at the end of February, councillors have agreed.

The move should reduce set-up and maintenance costs by about 32,000 a year.

"The market has been declining for years and never really recovered after it was forced to shut in 2006 for health and safety reasons," said Calderdale Council's economy and environment spokesman Barry Collins.

"Some people have claimed that we are charging traders too much and milking the rents but in fact rents are still roughly in line with what they were nearly 20 years ago."

Councillor Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) told the cabinet there was only one regular commercial trader on Saturdays and four flea market traders on Thursdays.

He said it was hoped they would all transfer to Sowerby Bridge Market, which might then be able to open an extra day.

Councillor Collins said it was important to remind people that the existing shops at the Piece Hall were open as usual and that specialist outdoor markets would be held in future.