One of Preston’s outdoor markets is due to close for four months if plans to refurbish its historic canopies go ahead.Advertisement
Preston’s former Fish Market, the smaller of the two outdoor markets, has grade II listed canopies which are in need of repair.
Closing the market is anticipated to cost Preston City Council £20,000 as it will not be able to run part of its weekly car boot market. Some of the car boot pitches will be moved into a re-designed car boot in the larger covered market.
The city council is proposing to spend £60,000 to bring in specialist consultants to draw up a plan for the historic market canopy.
Restoring the canopy is expected to cost in the region of £400,000.
Work on the Fish Market canopy would be the first step in the wider Markets plan which is set to see the Indoor Market, Market Hall car park and Lancastria House demolished to make way for a new cinema and restaurant complex.
Traders would be moved to a revamped covered market – but the city council says it wants to restore the Fish Market canopy as the smaller outdoor market is a “potential temporary space to be utilised during any future new market project.”
Papers tabled for the city council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday ask for permission to appoint consultants and progress the plans.
Cabinet Member for community and environment, Councillor Robert Boswell, said; “We will carefully consider this report in the light of the recommendations that an early start on phase 1 of the project is the best way forward at this time.”
A report to the city council in April 2012 highlighted work was needed on the Fish Market canopy to address “corrosion of column bases and these defects need to be addressed.”
It goes on to say: “The Fish Market canopy will play a key role in the Markets project. As the new market is constructed under the larger canopy all available space will be required to move current
outdoor traders to new temporary locations. Of course, current indoor stall-holders will remain in their current situation until the new build works are complete. This will ensure the integrity of the market remains intact throughout this period of change.”
In March last year it was announced the city council had failed in a £5 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for money to restore the Victorian canopies of both outdoor covered market structures.
The full plans relating to the Fish Market can be seen on the city council website.
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