The leader of Preston City Council has vowed to continue with plans for the city markets despite criticism from traders.Advertisement
Councillor Peter Rankin says he will stand by proposals to demolish the Indoor Market, restore the covered market and look to create a cinema on the site of the current market building and car park.
In a letter to Blog Preston he said: “The Council has previously stated that its intention is to have a cinema development on the site of the current Indoor Market and Car Park (once demolished).
“There were even artist impressions published in the LEP of a cinema development about 18 months ago. A cinema development, with associated food outlets, remains our intention. We need to make the city centre more attractive for evening visitors, but obviously we first need to come forward with a scheme for the market. This is exactly what we are doing now with the appointment of the architect.”
Councillor Rankin has written to each stall holder in the market, with many reacting by saying being forced into the outdoor market would put them out of business.
He said: “I understand that market traders are concerned about the future of the market and what the future may hold. We don’t yet have the answers to the questions traders rightly want to know about the future scheme, because we don’t yet have the scheme.
“If, at the end of the day, some of the traders want to walk away from the opportunities of a new market, it will be a great shame but that is up to them. And of course, all Indoor Market traders will be entitled to compensation, whether they move to the new market to not.”
Earlier this year the city council found out its bid for £5 million of lottery money to revamp the outdoor market had been unsuccessful.
The city council still has £5 million set aside of Town Hall budget to invest in the markets.
What do you think the future of the indoor and outdoor market should be? Let us know in the comments below