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Cool Trader casualty of Lancaster Market closure

John Freeman
Budget food store Cool Trader, which has been operating from Lancaster Market for several years, will close its doors next week.

The company, has which was originally reported to be moving into Ethel Austins on Penny Street, which closes next week, has changed its plans and will no longer have a store in Lancaster.

"We have been forced to close our unit in Lancaster market by Lancaster City Council and we expect to close our doors on Saturday 25th August although this date is not yet confirmed, Managing Director Andrew Errington told virtual-lancaster.

"We have scoured the town for an appropriate replacement unit and we have several options but despite our best endeavours we haven't been able to secure a new shop yet."

The Market will close its doors for the last time on Tuesday 11th September. We have previously reported on where most market traders plan to move, but here is an updated list:

• African Caribbean Foods - set to share unit in King's Arcade with Rose and Sharon hair salon
• Barbers - Sir Simon's Arcade (taking up the former Guys and Dolls unit and joining the Market's former picture framers on the arcade, who moved there some time ago)
• Bay Pets & Jesters Fancy Dress - Common Garden Street 
• Burgess Cheese - moving to Ffrances Passage 
• Gillisons Fine Leather Goods and Bag Stall - Bamboo Gardens, New Street 
• Hester's Haberdashery - Gage Street
• Hartley Electrical Services - King Street/Sir Simon's Arcade 
• The Terrace Cafe - New Street (taking over Lewis' Cafe)

• NHS Stop Smoking Shop - returning to St. Nicholas' Arcades
• The Market Cobbler - Marketgate (into the former mobile phone accessory shop)

• Polish Delicatessen - Brock Street

Sadly, not all market traders will be moving to new premises, unable to afford Lancaster's oft-criticised business rates in comparison to Market stall rents. Carpet stall M Green and  Son, which has been trading in Lancaster for 50 years, is one casualty, as is the Balcony Bistro and KBS Trading. Chaepasmokes is still looking for a retail unit.

Several former traders have already established themselves elsewhere in Lancaster, some a while back, such as Burts Butchers (who have been successfully trading on Market Street for a few years now); some more recently, such as Gregory's Butchers and the last of the Market's fishmongers, R & P Shaw, who are now both located in Marketgate.

The Chinese food shop has also successfully relocated to Common Garden Street in recent months.

Although Lancaster Market is set to close at close of business on Tuesday 11th September, the town's Charter Market will continue to trade in Market Square in Market Square and Penny Street every Wednesday and Saturday, and the Council continues to run the Assembly Rooms on King Street, originally home to some market traders who moved there after Lancaster's original market burnt down in the 1990s.

Morecambe also has its own Festival Market, run by the Council.

There is now word as yet on which, if any, business, is likely to take over the Market building once vacated, although rumours that clothes chain Primark have expressed an interest have been circulating for some months.