Traders have enlisted the help of their MP and community leaders as they battle to move back into a market they claim they had to leave with only 24 hours notice.
Stall holders inside The Green Market, on Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, claim they received a phone call last Saturday informing them the premises would be taken over by budget shop Poundland in December and they would have to move out within a matter of hours.
This sparked a wave of disapproval among the traders who said they did not receive enough time to look for another premises and demanded the landlord to help them after the locks were changed on the building.
The market’s closure has now attracted the attention of the community and Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, who met with traders and listened to their concerns.
Around 100 people - residents and visitors - stood outside the market to hear Mr Maynard speak.
He said: “There’s a lot that needs unpicking but I’m quite certain what Cleveleys doesn’t need is another chain shop, so I want to find a way that keeps Cleveleys independent.
“I want a mix of independent shops that bring in residents and bus trips, so I’m here to show my support to keep the town independent.
“I know how much everyone values what goes on here and the reason we get so many people here is because we have a superb mix of shops and I want to keep Cleveleys special.
“Poundland needs Cleveleys more than Cleveleys needs Poundland.”
County Councillor Andrea Kay, for Thornton Cleveleys North, added: “I would like to think traders could go back into the market where they have already set up flourishing businesses. We want other businesses in Cleveleys but it’s not fair if others are suffering and losing their livelihoods.”
Tristan Farnworth, 45, a market trader, said: “I hope we can get back in and survive as a traditional market.”
A spokesman for Poundland said: “We can confirm Poundland will be opening a store in Cleveleys in December following an exchange of contract with the landlord 15 months ago. Discussions between the landlord and previous tenants are not something Poundland is in a position to comment on.”
Landlord Salim Patel added: “The deal with Poundland has been in the public domain for a number of months.
“We’ve done all we can to let the traders take their stock and we have taken hold of the building to let Poundland move in.”