Go to Bury Market and you’ll find a thriving enterprise packed with stalls attracting locals and visitors from further afield in plentiful numbers.
Compare and contrast with Wigan’s indoor market and you find an enterprise which is a pale shadow of its former self, with empty units and far fewer customers patronising it.
Unfair to draw such parallels? Difficult to say. Bury has always held a special status and Wigan isn’t the only town where markets ain’t what they used to be.
But in this day and age of chefs telling us to buy fresh produce and skip plastic packaging in food, added to the withdrawal of Marks and Spencer from
Wigan town centre, it does look like a venture that could be revived rather than allowed to wind down into oblivion.
Which is why I am pleased to see that Wigan Council this week announced it is setting aside £4m to reinvigorate it.
The market could still relocate to somewhere else in town once a business partners for the revamp is found but in the meantime the local authority is promising to splash some cash on the existing building to make it more attractive to shoppers. About time too.