The multi-million pound revamp of Preston’s Outdoor Covered Market is about to move onto the crucial next stage.Advertisement
Dozens of glass panels are about to be delivered to encase the new structure under the grade-II listed canopy.
Large steel poles are now in place ready to receive the glass – with around 70 per cent of the exterior of the new market to be the glass panels.
A ‘spider crane’ as it is dubbed will put the glass into place as the market hall starts to take shape under Conlon Construction’s gaze.
Head of city development for Preston City Council John Crellin said the coming weeks would see something more visual for those walking by.
He said: “A lot of the work has been on the ground at the moment, preparing for when the market stalls go in.
“We have to lay the floor, put in the electrics, water and the like. Each stall will need those utilities.
“As the glass comes in you’ll really be able to see just how impressive this structure is.”
The glass market hall – which will have around 30 stalls – is due to be completed by Christmas this year, although no completion date has been confirmed.
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Mr Crellin said: “We’re making good progress so far and I’ve been really encouraged by the traders – both new and old – we’ve had applying to be part of it.
“There’s also work starting on creating the box market under the Fish Market canopy which is something really different for the city.”
A large space at the top end of the market is being left empty to allow the car boot and other markets to take place outside of the new glazed structure.
In the evenings and at other times it is proposed this will become an events space and Mr Crellin said they are hoping for some bar and cafe operators to be trading from the new market – giving it a night-time use as well as the daytime market.
He said: “People’s expectations for a market have changed over the years.
“We’ll have the best produce stalls but it’s also about what you can eat there and then.
“Lancashire has some fantastic food so this will be a city centre location to serve it up in and for people to enjoy it.”
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The spider crane is due to be in operation from early August and it’ll take around six weeks for the glass panels to be installed.
A ‘moving in date’ is due to be confirmed to traders in the next few weeks – so they can prepare to fit out their stalls.
What do you think about how the market hall is progressing? Let us know in the comments below