First artists are expected to move into new Bideford Pannier Market units in November in time for Christmas trade.

Funding to erect eight new studio units in Bideford Pannier Market have been approved by the town council.

At its full council meeting on Thursday, councillors voted to fund £28,000 towards the units to encourage new businesses to start up within the town.

Cllr David Brenton, of the council's market management committee, said: "Butchers Row is very successful and it is an embryonic place to start a business with very low outgoing costs.

"The demand is such that we feel the market hall would benefit from having some units up there."

But Cllr Jamie McKenzie questioned whether the new units would be 'enough of a draw' to bring in new customers.

He added: "Not enough people walk up there now as it is."

Cllr Brenton said there were currently 11 people interested in the units, should they be built.

The plans estimated the money used to fund the units would be repaid to the town council in just over three years.

Councillors were told the funding would leave £67,574 it is regeneration budget.

The first artists are expected to move into the units in November.