TOWN councillors are being urged to rule out a bid to run their weekly Wednesday market.

Barnard Castle Town Council has been considering submitting a bid to run the market, either on its own or with other groups in the town, as part Durham County Council's proposals to find new a new operator.

However, whoever takes over will have to pay an annual fee of at least £5,000 to the county council.

At a special meeting next week, town councillors will be told the sums simply don't add up.

Town clerk Michael King says based on figures provided by the county council, a potential market operator would be faced with an annual loss of more than £1,100.

In a report to members he states: “It is disappointing that the county council has launched into this expensive tender exercise based on unrealistic financial targets.

“It would, in effect, require a local subsidy to be paid to Durham County Council for a service it currently provides.”

At the meeting, on Monday, Setember 9, members are recommended not to enter a bid to run Barnard Castle's market.

Durham County Council is seeking new operators for markets in nine towns.