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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Market opens doors

NEARLY 100 people visited Maryport’s new indoor market in its first three hours of opening on Wednesday.

marketopen
OPENED THIS WEEK: Lillie-Mai Jackson and mum Belinda Little in the new Carlton market in Maryport, with market owner Steve Wood and manager Dawn Williamson

Owner Steve Wood said it was a hugely encouraging response.

Mr Wood has turned the ground floor of the old Carlton cinema into a market with colourful barrows creating the stalls, covered by cheerful umbrellas.

There was concern in the town over the fact that Mr Wood received funding when he initially restored the Carlton, one of Maryport’s eyesore buildings, and then closed it within about three months because of previously undiscovered dry rot.

But Mr Wood said this week that, despite rumours, he had received no further funding.

He had paid the cost of restoring the floor, correcting problems and building the indoor market out of his own pocket.

He said at one stage he had considered walking away but was committed to Maryport and wanted to do his part to revive the town centre.

He said: “I was delighted on Wednesday to see people I had never seen before. I have also had people interested in taking over stalls which is encouraging.”

The market was opened by Lillie-Mai Jackson, the two-year-old Maryport tot who lost her legs and an arm to meningitis.

Lillie-Mai recently got her first pair of prosthetic legs but, because of a stump infection, was unable to use them.

She needs special and expensive flexible-knee legs which are not available on the NHS.

Mr Wood said the market would adopt Lillie-Mai as its own charity. A collection bucket will be on hand at all times and those working at the market and its cafe have agreed that all tips will go to the fund.

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