READERS are disappointed after it was announced the first step in an ambitious £17.5m scheme to transform Barrow Market Hall had been taken.

Demolition of the vacant unit at 56 Portland Walk began on Tuesday as part of a plan to turn the market into a 'modern community hub'.

New bays for stallholders, a food hall and activity areas are to be added during a project financed by the Government's Levelling Up Fund.

"This is a huge deal for Barrow Market Hall and our town centre," said Jacqui Armstrong, manager at Barrow Market Hall.

The Mail readers took to social media to share their views.

Simon Alexander said: "Council is a joke. Shops are in decline on Portland walk. Barrows flagship shopping street. Do they know what they are doing?"

Nigel Assheton-Smith said: "Make the town free parking, that would encourage people to shop there. Tesco, Asda and Morrisons are free to park."

Ron Creer said: "The plans look exciting and could re-invigorate the market. This in turn could encourage other retail outlets to set up."

Donna Shuttleworth said: "Any effort put into the town centre always attracts negative opinions. Think about the small businesses that are still there offering their services and try and support them!"

The Observer said: "Such a shame they demolished the original market that I remember in the 50's / 60's.

"Can you imagine if they had the money for the upkeep then, what it would have looked like with maybe a mezzanine deck.

"I spent many hours as a kid walking around the indoor market and with my Mother in the outdoor market. I always remember what seemed to me was a mountain of Morecambe bay prawns which I loved. No chocolate treats, just prawns. cost you a fortune now."

Northern Lass said: "More shops are needed not cheap goods from markets that is what the internet is for cheap goods from China. Why does the council waste any money received? Like doing buildings fronts in Duke street, it's shops we need not old looking building that's not going to bring money into the town."