Changes afoot at Spring Fair

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Large rides are set to be banned from Chorley town centre when an annual fair returns at the end of the month.

Traders have long complained that having the bigger rides in Market Street results in a slump in business.

They blame the noise and the large crowds of teenagers that the funfair attracts for deterring their customers from shopping in the town during the four-day Spring Fair.

However, Chorley Council has now agreed that the larger rides, provided by Gary Gore, can be moved on to the Portland Street car park.

Chairman of Chorley Traders Alliance, Malcolm Allen said: “We have been saying for a long time that the rides need to be moved and it is good that the council has acted on our concerns.

“We don’t want to spoil anybody’s fun and hopefully this will be the best of both worlds.

“There can be a significant drop in trade during the time that the large rides are in Market Street and businesses cannot afford to lose out.

“Elderly customers can especially be put off by the big rides, the loud noises and the youngsters who come in town in large numbers.

“We think that the new arrangement will mean that there is something for all ages and we hope it will help bring more people into the town.”

New plans mean that only children’s rides will be located in Market Street and Fazakerley Street and the fair will coincide with the return of the Continental Market.

Gary Gore, who runs the funfair, said: “The event is going to be back to its best and we have new rides and will have the children’s attractions in the town centre to link up with the traders.

“We are also reducing the price of the rides in Market Street to £1 and are handing out vouchers for a further 30p off as we know times are tough for everyone and we want to make sure everyone can enjoy the fair.”

Coun Peter Malpas, who has responsibility for the town centre at Chorley Council, added: “We’ve been working closely with town centre traders and the fair organisers to make sure it will be a big success.

“We’ve taken on board comments from last year and we have incorporated a new idea to have family rides in the town centre to complement the larger rides on Portland Street for the Spring Fair.

“We’ll also have the Continental Market in town over the four days so we hope to attract more shoppers.”