Preston’s new look market should be ready for Christmas 2017 as contractors have been appointed.Advertisement
Conlon Construction have won the multi-million pound contract to build the new glazed interior under the existing Outdoor Market.
The new structure will be home to the market stalls which will move there while the Indoor Market is demolished to make way for a new cinema and restaurants complex and car park.
Work is already underway on restoring the Outdoor Covered Market’s canopy, with the Fish Market canopy having been completed earlier this year.
Leader of Preston City Council councillor Peter Rankin said: “Markets Quarter is Preston City Council’s flagship project and we are delighted to appoint Conlon Construction to build the city’s new market.
“Conlon Construction are not only great at what they do they truly care about the people they employ and work with. Conlon are a progressive company who pay the living wage and they have a deep commitment to Preston. Building the new market is a great way for Preston to start 2017 – a year which promises to be incredibly exciting for Preston.”
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The Bamber Bridge-based building firm is already working on the revamp of Preston Bus Station and its chairman Michael Conlon said he was ‘proud’ to have the chance to work on the redevelopment of the market.
He said: “This is a fantastic and iconic structure in the heart of Preston.
“We’ll be hoping to start work on the site in January and it’s full steam ahead to have it finished before Christmas 2017.
“For me to have won the Markets contract is very important for the firm and for Preston as a whole.
“My brother Neil worked on the Markets for four years when he was a teenager for Fiddlers fruit and veg. The typical Saturday job. He was chuffed when I told him we’d be doing the work.
“There will be around 40 people working on the site and many of them will be from the Preston area.”
Mr Conlon said he was going to be working hard to ensure traders in the Markets knew what was planned and what would be happening at any time.
He said: “We’ll be sectioning off part of the market and everything we do we will be ensuring advance notice is given to traders.
“Be that a road closure because we’re going to have a crane in place or when we’re likely to be having a viewing area set up so the public can get a glimpse of what’s going on behind the hoardings while we work.
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Market traders have welcomed the appointment of Conlon and say they are pleased to see action being taken.
Chairman of the Preston Markets Traders Association Sam Livesey, and trader of 12 years, said: “I’m really pleased to see the work starting, and now this is happening it’s really important.
“Traders and the council are working together on this scheme. We know how crucial it is for the future of the Market.
“We’re hoping as Livesey’s to go into the new market once its ready but nothing is confirmed yet.”
Ellen Young, the longest serving trader at Preston Market, said: “I’ve worked on Preston Market for over 50 years. After being involved with the scheme for quite a few years it’s good to see it finally happening, especially after all the hard work put in by everyone concerned. It’s just what Preston needs, a city centre with a new lease of life. Bring it on!”
The next step in the Markets project, which is costing £50m in total, is the demolition of the current Indoor Market, Market Hall car park and the majority of Lancastria House although the city council says it wants to keep the frontage of the building and incorporate it into the new cinema and restaurants building.
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