A RAY of hope appeared this week for drenched traders at Penistone’s Market Barn.

It has been confirmed that a chunk of cash heading for the town is to be spent on the market area and this could ease conditions for fed-up stallholders who have been bearing the brunt of recent heavy rain and strong winds.

Ward councillor David Greenhough said part of the £900,000 coming to Penistone from the Principal Towns initiative had been earmarked for the ve§nue.

“It looks like the large space at the back of the barn will be among areas to be addressed to stop weather rushing through,” he added. “So there is now a positive edge to this situation.”

In recent weeks, stallholders - wearing layer upon layer of clothing - have been packing up hours before time as rain poured in through the roof.

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Coun Greenhough says business is being hit and he has been working to find a funding solution.

“We must look at improving the Market Barn because it has never been fit for purpose,” said Coun Greenhough. “Parts are just not weather proof. Stallholders are swimming in it when the weather is bad like it has been.”

But another councillor has warned that problems are more deep-seated in terms of customer base and overall use of the venue.

Coun Greenhough said hopefully improvements are on the way to make the building waterproof - but this depends on the amount of money available.

Coun Greenhough has been talking to Barnsley Council officers and stallholders to see what they are facing.

“Water has been pouring through the roof,” he said. “It has been so bad some have been knocking off at lunchtime and they won’t set up stall in some areas because it is so bad. Some traders have had to put their wares on plastic boxes to get them off the ground.”