£12.3m market revamp all set to be signed off

PLANS for a multi-million pound revamp of a historic market in Yorkshire have reached a major milestone.

Council officials in Leeds are set to sign off design and cost proposals for the £12.3m project to revamp Kirkgate Market in the city centre.

A new report seeks approval for £10.8m to be spent on improvements to the structure and layout of the market building. If approved by the council’s executive board next week, it will pave the way for a planning application and listed building consent. It also announces a package of support for traders wanting to relocate, which includes a mixture of grants and interest-free loans to help cover the moving and refitting costs.

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The report coincides with the start of the search for a developer to improve the George Street frontage of the market.

Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for development and economy, said: “We’re proposing a major investment in an iconic listed building with significant local importance attached to it, so it’s vital that we get this right.”

The plans for the market include roof repairs, new lights, the upgrading of the sprinkler system and drainage works and a new ventilation system. The roof will be replaced in the 1976 and 1981 halls, a covered daily market and a dedicated events space will be created and the layout of the market will be improved. More than £1.6m has already been spent to get the plans to this stage.

If the report is approved, work is expected to start early next year and finish in 2016.