New management board will oversee Leeds market revamp

A NEW management board is set to be appointed to oversee a major multi-million pound refurbishment of Kirkgate market.

Leeds City Council is forging ahead with its plans to inject the historic market with a promised £12.3m makeover.

A new report to be presented to the authority’s cabinet next week lays out options for the format of a new steering committee, which would be a “custodian” of the market – but would still be ultimately controlled by the council.

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Meanwhile, a separate council report confirms Ove Arup and partners have been appointed to provide a planning service for the project.

The developments come after campaigners recently confronted council decision-makers over claims of a lack of progress on the promised “kiss of life” to secure the market’s future in the wake of approval for the Victoria Gate development.

Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market (FOLKM) presented a deputation to the full council meeting at Leeds Civic Hall last month demanding that “key questions” are answered and the plans progressed quicker.

The report to the executive board lays out three options for the management board, but urges that an informal advisory panel is the best option, in favour of a more formal structure.

“The board will be established by the council and, as such, LCC will retain the majority influence and control,” the report says.

The report adds the panel – to be set up by the next municipal year – would be made up of six councillors, three traders and three independent advisers.

Its role would be to “act as custodian and promoter of the vision and objectives for Kirkgate market” but it would not be able to make decisions on behalf of the council or be involved in leases and tenancy matters.