An MP says she will fight to secure improvements to Barnet Market despite the site being put up for sale by its owners.

Chipping Barnet representative Theresa Villiers expressed her “deep disappointment” at news The Spires shopping centre, including the St Albans Road market site, had been put up for sale.

Owners UBS had pledged in October to undertake major renovations of the long-standing market area, but those plans have been thrown into doubt.

Ms Villiers said: "It's deeply disappointing to see the plans UBS announced on Barnet Market delayed by the decision to put the Spires up for sale.

“When the improvements were announced, it seemed as if things were finally looking up for Barnet's historic stall market.

“To have those hopes dashed is depressing for me and for all the residents who have supported the market so staunchly during this difficult period in its long history.”

Stall holders expressed concerns this week over their future, with no guarantee that the potential new owners will be supportive of the market.

Ms Villiers added: "I am continuing to press for the planned improvements to go ahead regardless of the impending sale.

“It is proving very difficult to get a straight answer from UBS's agents on this so I am asking for an urgent discussion with them in order to make the case for going ahead with the improvements.”

UBS will finish taking bids for the site next week and the banking firm is seeking in excess of £35million for the estate.