A new market officer has been appointed for Skipton – and his first job will be to negotiate new contracts with traders.

The management of Skipton Market, which takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, is due to be handed over from Craven District Council to the town council on March 1.

Former market trader Stefan Bodnarczuk took up his post last week and will spend the next few weeks familiarising himself with the market and its traders ahead of the handover.

Dave Parker, chief officer of Skipton Town Council, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to welcome Stefan to the team.

“His direct experience of markets will be invaluable as the date for the handover of the market gets closer.”

Mr Bodnarczuk will work as part of the council’s town centre management team, alongside the town centre ambassadors, and will be on site during each market day.

Town centre manager Brett Butler said: “We think its really important to have someone on site throughout each market day. Stefan will be around from the start of each day, through to the end of trading – and, even when he is not actually patrolling the market, he will be available at the town council’s offices on the High Street to deal with any issues arising.”

One of Mr Bodnarczuk’s first jobs will be to arrange new Consent to Trade agreements between the council and each of the traders operating on the market.

“We’ve been consulting traders and other interested parties on the wording of the new agreement for several months and the final version is now ready to be approved by the council. Stefan will be spending much of his time in February signing traders up to the new agreement ready for March 1.”

Skipton Town Council will take over the management from Craven District Council following a decision by the Lord of the Honour of Skipton Castle to make the change as holder of the historic market charter.