A new report has outlined how the council wants to see the markets of Preston develop.Advertisement
Experts Quarterbridge have been called in to suggest a smaller market hall is needed, a new shoppers car park should be built and the covered market should continue.
The city council wants to demolish the Market Hall and Car Park, built in the 1970s, because of the repair and renovation costs attached to it.
Market traders were called to the Town Hall this week to hear the recommendations.
Jonathon Owen, director at Quarterbridge, said: “My findings clearly demonstrate a sustainable future for a market of the right size in Preston. This is a starting point for the council to consider how they take the project forward.”
The council has faced criticism from many traders over the plans for the markets.
Councillor Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “We welcome the findings by Quarterbridge and the council will now consider in detail all the recommendations carefully before taking any further decisions.
“We have long believed that the market is an integral part of Preston and should remain so. For this reason we are encouraged that the report, in supporting this view, recommends that the market is capable of being sustainable and successful.
“We regard the Markets Quarter as a priority for kick starting city centre regeneration making optimum use of the listed Market Canopies which are a huge asset for the city centre.
“Despite limited resources, the Council remains committed to providing a modern fit for purpose market facility ensuring a low cost, fresh, healthy food offer in the city centre.”
The Quarterbridge recommendations in full
– The market hall is replaced with a smaller alternative. The smaller size will be consistent with maintaining the core fresh food offer and 100% occupancy. The final sizing will be dependent on a detailed study of space requirements, catchment demand and potential locations.
– Additional capacity to be provided on stalls under the refurbished market canopies and on-street.
– The new market hall should be provided before closing the existing market.
– The new market hall should include an anchor attraction
– The 1875 covered market should continue to operate as both a regular Open market and periodic car boot market.
– The public realm within the Markets Quarter should be improved and management regulations regarding access times for delivery vans enforced.
– The existing market hall site should be redeveloped – its use does not necessarily need to be linked to new food hall.
– A shoppers’ car park should be re-provided within the redeveloped market hall site.
Management arrangements should be reviewed to explore more intensive use of the asset and additional events.
– Business support and development should be introduced.
Do you shop in the market? What do you think of the proposals? Let us know your views in the comments below