THE new-and-improved Pitsea market is finally open for business.

Punters flocked to the new market site, in London Road, on Wednesday as the town’s regeneration took its next step forward.

The market will feature 89 stalls.

Previously it boasted more than 200, but the site will be easier to navigate as traders will have to clear away their stalls at the end of the day, leaving the former Railway Pub site clear.

The new market is the first part of the £30million regeneration project, led by London & Cambridge Properties, and will be followed by the opening of two food stores in the next year.

Aldi expected to open in June and a Morrisons superstore by Christmas, creating dozens of jobs.

Dean Tredinnick, Pitsea market manager, said he was excited about the markets prospects.

He said: “Wednesday was very succesful and it was nice to see so many people milling around the stalls once again.

“January is a notoriously difficult time for traders so this is a promising start to what will be an exciting year.”

Malcolm Buckley, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The Aldi store is clearly rising from the ground behind the new square and the whole development is really starting to take shape, highlighting what an improved town centre the people of Pitsea can look forward to.”

The new market will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9am and 3.30pm while a second-hand market will run on Fridays.