AN empty retail unit in the heart of Ramsey town centre officially opened on Saturday as a new community indoor market.

The former reptile pet store in the High Street is now home to nine market traders, who sell fruit and vegetables, second-hand children's toys, antique glassware, artwork and motorbike paraphenalia. There is also a tea-bar.

Ramsey Town Council have underwritten the initiative for six months. It is already breaking even and hopes are it will become self-supporting.

Stall holders are charged just £100 a month, and volunteers man a central till so that traders do not have to be at the stall throughout the week.

The market, which is open seven days a week, is the brainchild of Ramsey Mayor Lisa Duffy.

She said: "It is quite a risk for the town council to take, but they were willing to do so, because we feel so strongly about building the economy in the town and giving the local people of Ramsey a chance to have a go at their own business."