Could Fig Tree centre be moving to Lancaster?

Fig Tree director Bruce Crowther
Fig Tree director Bruce Crowther
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The world’s first ever international fair trade centre is being earmarked for a move into Lancaster’s last remaining indoor market.

The Fig Tree is in talks with Lancaster City Council about relocating to the Assembly Rooms, which has been struggling for trade.

The King Street market hall has been identified as a possible new location for the pioneering centre, which is currently based in Garstang.

The director of the Fig Tree, Brice Crowther, claims the centre is being forced to move out of Garstang after a row with Wyre Borough Council over the expiry of its lease.

The Fig Tree houses an exhibition on Lancaster’s history as a fair trade district and as Britain’s largest slave trade port, a fair trade cafe, and a gift shop selling fair trade and local products.

Lancaster’s Assembly Rooms’ future has been in doubt since a city council review in November 2013.

If the Fig Tree moves in, it would mean the end for the market in its current form, although there may still be some space for existing stalls. There are seven traders currently operating businesses there.

Fiona Gordon, a trader, said: “The uncertainty isn’t good for business. We think we have a unique offer here. We are in discussions with Lancaster City Council about the future.”