There are fears that Barnstaple Pannier Market could close 10 years from now unless younger people are encouraged to start trading.That was the warning from North Devon councillors responding to a business plan designed to develop a strategy for the market between now and 2020. The study has been carried out to help safeguard the market, which has been running at a loss since 2012/13, and cost the council £46,631 last year.A public consultation on proposals to close the Grade II listed building at night-time is running until October 6.A traders survey showed that many had been selling at the market for more than 20 years, raising concerns they could retire during the next decade. Speaking at a scrutiny meeting on Thursday, councillor John Patrinos, said: Are we looking at a group of people who could well be retiring in the next 10 years? If so the market could be empty. But Barnstaple Town Centre Manager Hannah Harrington, who was produced the business plan in a bid to safeguard the markets future, discussed a number of ideas to encourage younger people to begin trading. We want to work with Petroc to increase entrepreneurial opportunities and perhaps introduce discounts for start-ups, she said. Another idea is to introduce teenage markets with teenager traders, although it wont happen overnight. There is a generation who dont go into the pannier market because its seen as being full of older people. Many see the market as more of an events venue and we need to do more of that and change with the times. Cllr Brian Greenslade said that for many people in North Devon, the market no longer had the same historical resonance. Some days its almost dead; its time to refresh the traders as much as anything else, he said. Cllr Faye Webber said the market was losing its uniqueness and quaintness. There are certain days when its quiet and Ive noticed it more this summer than I have at other times, she said. Perhaps we need to amalgamate the markets it is better to advertise one good day rather than have people go in and be disappointed. Mrs Harrington said the study highlighted a feeling that the market was no longer loved but said funding was being sought to refurbish the entire building. We see the market as crucial in supporting the economy of the town centre and a real asset to build on, she said. It has made a loss of the council in the last four years and we want to reverse that trend. We have set a vision for the market and some key priority areas to help reduce costs and make a profit by the end of the plan period.We are now proposing to taking to traders at a meeting at the end of August and then take proposals to the executive after that.Click here to return to our homepage for more North Devon news.