TRADERS who have lost ‘everything’ in a devastating fire this morning could be offered space in the nearby indoor market.

Northwich’s covered market was gutted by a huge fire this morning, Friday, with traders’ stalls and stock going up in flames despite the best efforts of dozens of firefighters.

The market is owned by Cheshire West and Chester Council, and town centre representative Cllr Sam Naylor told the Guardian that traders could be offered space in the indoor market and empty Weaver Square units as early as this afternoon.

“It’s a total loss,” said Cllr Naylor, who was shown around the fire-damaged market this morning along with MP Mike Amesbury.

IN PICTURES >>> Firefighters tackle huge fire at Northwich outdoor market

“What we have got to do is accommodate all the traders who want to continue, and all those I spoke to this morning do want to. We have got to get that sorted. That’s our priority

“There is space in the indoor market and the row of shops we own opposite the indoor market.

“It’s our number one priority. Northwich is traditionally a market town and it’s our priority to have it continue to trade as such. We have got traders who have been there for 40 years and are absolutely devastated.

Northwich Guardian:

“They have lost everything they have got, but we have got our business support team and they will be in contact."

A Cheshire West and Chester Council spokesman confirmed that traders would be moving to the indoor market as early as tomorrow, Saturday.

They said: "The council is doing all it can to support the traders.

"A meeting with market traders has just taken place. The outdoor market traders will be able to trade from Northwich Indoor Market, adjacent to the outdoor market. 

"Two traders will be able to open in the indoor market tomorrow, with more joining them next week.

"The indoor market is open as usual so please come along and support the traders."

Tragically, the covered market has been left no more than a ‘burnt out shell’ by the blaze.

Cllr Naylor said: “Having been inside, my thoughts are that it needs bringing down. We need to think what we are going to do with the space created.

WATCH >>> Early morning fire guts Northwich covered market

“It’s an absolutely tragedy but in a way it provides an opportunity to breathe new life into the market. Instead of a half empty indoor market we can have a bustling one.

“There are plans to redevelop the whole of Weaver Square but while that is happening we need to protect the market economy.

“It is all systems go on day one, to get the town up and running again.”

A Cheshire Fire update at 1.45pm said gas and electricity supplies had been isolated.

An aerial ladder platform has helped firefighters to access and assess the market's flat roof space.

Firefighters from relief crews are expected to be at the site off Watling Street throughout the day.