MARKET traders in Hartlepool may soon be given new stalls to replace ones which have become targets for vandals.

The open market has been operated by Hartlepool Borough Council since 1975 and was originally held every Thursday, but was extended to include the bric-a-brac market on Wednesdays.

The stalls were obtained when the market first opened and are in poor condition.

A report to Hartlepool Borough Council's Regeneration Board, which meets on Tuesday, said: "They are subject to vandalism and abuse, which has resulted in many fittings being in a poor state of repair.

"Consequently, the stalls are now less robust and are becoming more liable to accidental displacement of the frame members.

"There are also health and safety implications relating to the erection and dismantling of the stalls which are particularly heavy. An alternative, lightweight design has therefore been produced."

The cost of replacing the 70 market stalls, including buying six trolleys to transport them is estimated at £85,000.

A Community Safety capital bid of £10,000 has been agreed by the Community Services and Safety Board, but £75,000 is still needed.

The scheme will be subject to a tendering process and may be completed this autumn or early winter.