Tired-looking city market in line for £1.5m facelift

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YORK’s Newgate market could be in line for a £1.5m makeover – its first in two decades.

The city has had a market for centuries and it has been held in various city centre locations before it moved into Newgate in 1964. Next week senior councillors will meet to discuss investing £1.5m in the market in a bid to attract more visitors and bolster the local economy.

A report to be considered by York Council’s cabinet committee said it had only been refurbished once in 50 years.

“It is now beginning to look tired although it has still been achieving its income targets of around £500,000 per annum and is generally deemed to be successful with occupancy rates of around 75 per cent,” it said.

It is hoped that the investment, if backed by committee members when they meet on Tuesday, will help rejuvenate the market and encourage shoppers to visit more frequently and spend more when they are there – although it will eventually lead to rent increases for traders.

Officers say the investment could be used in a number of ways including extending trading hours, holding evening markets, encouraging new businesses to get started, employing a market porter to improving cleanliness and in work to improve the entrance ways, layout and lighting.

In the report, council officers say rents will be pegged for the first three years with no increases above inflation. From year four the authority says: “It is intended that there should be a sufficiently improved trading environment to project rent increases at five per cent above inflation and from year five, 11 per cent above inflation.

“This modest increase in rent should be far outweighed for traders by increased turnover.”

The report adds: “The aim will be for shoppers to visit more frequently, stay longer and spend more.”

It is hoped that design work can take place early next year with refurbishment work being carried out next summer. The market, which is located in the city centre between The Shambles and Parliament Street, has about 100 stalls.

If the investment is approved more detailed talks will take place including creating a steering group which will include market traders and others.