TRADERS at Leigh’s council-owned market have accepted a breakthrough 15 per cent reduction in their rental charge through to 2014.

It is the first time they have been offered a reduction of this size.

The market traders have agreed unanimously to the offer and additionally, the council has offered to reduce the licence notice period from 56 days to 28 days.

Butcher John Doherty, chairman of Leigh Market Traders Association, said: “Leigh traders have agreed to the offer made by Wigan Council. The terms of the offer go some ways to cushion the burgeoning cash expenses which all traders are experiencing in Leigh Market.

“While we appreciate that other markets in the borough might be experiencing different trading conditions we feel it is time to consolidate our position and move on to other issues which affect Leigh Market.”

Clr David Molyneux, deputy leader of Wigan Council and cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “Wigan Council is committed to promoting a sustainable future for the borough’s markets. We have not increased market rents since 2007.

“We look forward to continuing working closely with the traders in Leigh and hope this reduction helps support them through a difficult period and they continue to go from strength to strength.”

Traders have been told that the withholding of rent is a breach of licence agreement and could be subject to enforcement action.

The council is now awaiting formal feedback from traders and further discussions will be held with trader representatives.