Leicester's famous city centre market is set for a facelift after plans were unveiled for a £7 million renovation project.
The city's council has announced that the indoor section of the market would be demolished to make way for a new public square. The plaza will be situated behind the Corn Exchange within the East Midlands city and replace the current five-storey building which is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. The proposals are still to go under a public consultation which is due to last six weeks when it is launched in early January. Members of the council also announced that they are in the process of speaking with local traders over the plans.
Replacing the old structure will be a new timber and glass pavilion which will house the fish, meat and cheese traders all of which currently conduct their business within the market hall.
The plans have received a wide-ranging level of opinion with some traders praising the decision to move the stalls with Adrian Pole, who runs Country Fayre, telling the Leicester Telegraph that the previous facility meant that shop owners were working in a derelict building. There will also be scope for a new area of lock-up stalls which will be able to house a number of other traders such as haberdashers along with other various dry-goods being sold.
Sir Peter Soulsby, the mayor of Leicester, said: "The market has been at the heart of the city for many centuries and it does make us a surplus, so it makes business sense to invest in it. To say the current building is looking tired would be about the politest thing you could say about it. It was never a brilliant building and while it may have looked good on paper many years ago, it has never really worked."
Leicester's market has sat in the heart of the city since 1229 boasting both indoor and outdoor facilities and in 2009 it was named as 'Britain's Favourite Market' in a Nabma public vote.
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