TRADERS today praised the “buzzing” atmosphere in a market hall now all of its stalls have been filled.
Stakeholders at Poulton Market Hall say low rents have encouraged new entrepreneurs to set up in the building in spite of tough economic times.
Twenty businesses now trade on the site compared to less than half that number last year.
Simon Stokes owns the Tastes and Flavours fine foods stall, which he set up 10 months ago, having worked as a chef for 15 years.
He said: “There was no way I could afford a shop anywhere so this was the perfect opportunity really.
“It’s a really good bunch of traders now and everyone’s selling stuff they know a lot about so it’s a good atmosphere.
“It’s something which needs advertising because it’s a really nice place to shop now.”
Eileen White has worked as a sales assistant at Derbyshires Electrical Appliances for 14 years and believes footfall in the hall has “definitely increased”.
The company has traded on the site for two decades.
She said: “It’s buzzing here and we are thriving.
“We do very well and people say they’re pleased they don’t have to go into Blackpool for the items we sell.”
Michelle Sykes opened her cafe, Lily’s Tea Room, in the market last year after struggling to pay £38,000 a year in rents at her previous premises.
Now the expenditure has been cut down to just £12,000 annually and she believes footfall has since quadrupled.
She said: “I haven’t got that huge outgoing every single month businesses have half a chance of survival here. When I came in it was half empty and it’s full now.
“My business would’ve probably gone if I hadn’t moved.”
The hall’s centre manager, George McCaffer, said: “They’ve done a really good job in this recession, to have it full and buzzing is a really good achievement.”