The future of Manchester's iconic independent market Afflecks Palace appears safe after landlord Bruntwood took the unusual step of buying its tenants' management company.
Bruntwood said in a statement: "After 26 years of trading, Afflecks management has sold their company to Bruntwood in an agreement that protects the future of Afflecks.
"Bruntwood will manage Afflecks while they look for a new owner who is skilled in running market style businesses and can bring a similar level of enthusiasm and dedication that the existing management has.
Bruntwood added: "Never in our 30 year history have we bought one of our Customer's businesses but Afflecks is a Manchester icon that we wanted to protect. We aren't however expert in managing markets, so will look for a suitable long term owner. In the meantime, the most important aspect is that we have arrived at a solution with Afflecks management that protects an independent retail environment and provides the existing stallholders with security."
Afflecks' lease was due for renewal in April and it had been feared the market stallholders could be evicted to make way for residential development.
None of the existing management of Afflecks will transfer to Bruntwood.