Glossop's Market Hall is set to close for up to 12 months early next year, as High Peak Borough Council look to "repair, restore and safeguard the town's heritage halls" as part of a multi-million pound project.
Surveys have revealed that the roofs at the Market Hall and the Municipal Buildings now need replacing and a report recommending the work is carried out next year will be considered by councillors next Monday (30 September).
Meanwhile, the council say the deadline to complete work to the clock tower has been extended after further issues had been identified, with the work - which includes re-painting it - set to be done by Remembrance Sunday (11 November).
It's part of a £2 million fund which was set aside to support all the halls, including Victoria Hall.
If approved, the work at the Market Hall in the heart of the town centre, which also includes replacing the electrical and fire safety systems, will mean the temporary closure of the building for a period of up to 12 months.
A date for the work has yet to be fixed but the borough council has confirmed that the Market Hall will remain open until January or February next year.
In the meantime, the council say they will engage with the traders on an individual basis to discuss their requirements and support them with alternative arrangements during this period.
Traders have received letters from the council over the last few days, explaining the current situation and outlining what will follow.
Council Leader Anthony Mckeown said: “We are committed to investing in Glossop’s heritage buildings which are at the heart of our regeneration strategy.
“People will be aware of the work to replace the Town Hall roof and repair the clock. This phase of this major investment project is set to finish in early November. The next phase is to invest in the Market Hall building and the Municipal Buildings.
“As safety must be paramount, regrettably the market will have to close on a temporary basis whilst the work is carried out. We fully understand the concern this will cause for traders and we are committed to working with them all personally to try and ensure, wherever possible, that they can continue to trade.”
Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Executive Member for Regeneration and Markets, added: “Locals and traders have identified the need for improvements in the Market Hall and it is integral to our regeneration plans for the town centre to create a thriving high street.
“We are mindful that the busy Christmas period is approaching and will be supporting traders by keeping the market open into the New Year but we want to begin discussions with them now so preparations can begin for the temporary closure.
“I know traders will be disappointed by this news, but once these essential works are completed, we feel optimistic that this will secure the long-term future of the Market Hall and provide the change we have all wanted to see for some time.”
Council officers will be visiting the market on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 September to arrange individual meetings with traders, so they can raise any concerns and discuss their future trading requirements.
A meeting at Glossop Market has been arranged for Friday 4 October, with traders and regular visitors to the market urged to attend to show their support.
Market traders are also urging customers to sign a petition to "show the council how important the market is to us".
In a statement, the traders said: "It is no secret that the high street and the market - both indoor and outdoor - in Glossop are struggling.
"As a group of traders, we are trying hard to save it and we need the support of the public to show that we are valued and wanted.
"We would love if anyone who enjoys the high street and the market to sign our petition and help us to try and help the local high street and the market and ultimately keep them open and being used by the public.
"We have already lost so much in our town - countless shops and businesses, also other buildings like Shire Hill hospital. We are very keen to not lose more.
"Anyone else with clever ideas, would you like to come forward? As we have been through every scenario in the book. The bottom line is why have they let it get so bad that they are forcing it to be closed for 12 months? After all, we are paying tenants.
"Traders cannot afford to be closed for months on end. Relocation will not happen as there is nowhere suitable for the amount of traders to be relocated to. The petition is simply to show the council that the market is important for the people of glossop and that closing it for any period will be detrimental to not only traders but for the public too."
June Ollerenshaw ran the sweet stall in Glossop's indoor market for 25 years and her husband Barry now runs the stall, after having a vegetable stall on the market for over 30 years.
She said: "We are both concerned what will happen and we have lived with this for many years. They [the council] had looked into it many years ago to see if they could repair the roof while still trading but it just isn’t possible.
"There was talk of traders using the outside market, which has a lot of empty spaces. I do wonder, though, what the true state of the roof is like after all this time and it may be dangerous not to have these works done.
"I cannot see what good it would do to delay the inevitable, even though it would cause hardship for us all. When they closed the market in the 1970s for refurbishment, they relocated the whole market to the old railway depot and the market survived but only because there were no supermarkets.
"My husband remembers this because he had his veg stall then and was one of the traders to move back."
If you would like to sign the petition, visit https://www.change.org/p/high-peak-borough-council-help-to-save-glossop-market-the-town-centre.