Preston Markets could see significant additional investment compared to what was originally planned for its regeneration scheme.Advertisement
The city council says it is making good progress on the plans for demolishing the Indoor Market, Market Hall and Lancastria House – but needs to spend more cash to do so.
In June plans were unveiled for how the cinema and restaurant complex, alongside a revamped Outdoor Covered Market, could look and were met with favour from Market Traders.
Leader of Preston City Council, councillor Peter Rankin, said: “The main thing is that we are making progress. We’ve opened a dialogue with traders and are keen to work in partnership with all traders to deliver a brighter future for the markets.
“Indeed, following on from this consultation it is clear that we need to invest more money into the market to make sure we ‘get it right’ for traders and also for Preston which prides its self on a unique, thriving and vibrant market.”
Town Hall bosses admit spending more means there may be a delay in submitting a planning application for the Markets area.
Councillor Rankin said: “This commitment to investing more into the markets does however present us with different challenges. For example, we now have to look again at the procurement of professional services supporting the project, such as architects, but it’s a nice challenge to have.”
Architects IBI Taylor Young were appointed in November – with a £161,375 contract – but any significant additional spending on the Market means the city council may need to go back out to tender for architects.
Any additional spending on the Markets plan would need to be approved by the city council’s cabinet and full council.
One-to-one meetings are being carried out in the coming weeks by council officers with each Market Trader to get into the nitty-gritty of the Covered Market plans ahead of any re-tendering process.
The grade II listed Fish Market is due to be repaired and investigations have begun into what repairs are needed.
Scaffolding has been put up in one corner of the Fish Market as heritage experts examine the state of the metal columns holding up the 90 year old canopy.
Councillor Rankin said: “We will fully restore the Fish Market canopy. It is a wonderful structure dating from mid 1920s and it is very much a Preston landmark. We have to treat the Fish Market with care. It is a listed building and we have to fully explore the condition of the metal working. This work is expected to last several weeks before we gear up to start on the restoration proper in the autumn.
“There will be some minimal disruption to trading under the Fish Market canopy whilst the works are underway but there is enough space in the markets area, to accommodate all outdoor and car boot traders.”
The car boot and flea markets will both run under the larger Covered Market while any work is carried out on the Fish Market canopy, which is expected to take around four months.
What do you think of the Markets plan? Should the council spend more on it? Let us know in the comments below