Getting ready for major market makeover

Plymouth’s City Market is to get a £3.5 million makeover as part of a major investment to help the city’s West End businesses.

Market traders are being invited to an event next week to talk to the project team and see some of the proposed designs for the revamp that will secure the long term future of the much-loved market by addressing maintenance and condition issues.

A planning application is to be submitted shortly to carry out an extensive refurbishment of the market which is one of the busiest and most successful in the country with over a million visitors a year.

The work includes:

• Refurbish the main shell roof along with works to replace the flat roof areas

• Refurbish the external cladding

• Replace existing roof lights (north lights)

• Replace the external lighting with new external floodlights

• Replace the market windows including those on the upper and lower levels of the block and internal facing windows.

• Remedial work to the ceiling and internal areas of the market

• Replace fascias, soffits and rainwater pipes

• Replace the market flooring

• Improve accessibility including the addition of a lift to the first floor

• Remodel the existing entrances as per the original market design

West entrance of City Market

West entrance of City Market

The project would also include major decoration inside and out at the market which currently has 144 main stalls and supports around 200 jobs.

Councillor Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets said: “City Market plays an important role in attracting people to the West End. It is an amazing piece of post war architecture and we need to make more of it. Our market is one of the key places where people can buy local produce from traders who live in or around this city.

“If you haven’t been there for a while pop in as there is a huge variety of stalls, lots of organic food and local suppliers. People who live and work in Plymouth should check it out as they will be pleasantly surprised.

“The market plays a massively important role for somewhere aspiring entrepreneurs to try out ideas. As a council we are committed to keeping visitors and shoppers coming into the city centre. We also want to see people with drive and energy to succeed as a thriving small business base is vital to the city’s economic growth.”

City Market, which was known as the Pannier Market until 2008, is a Grade II listed building made of reinforced concrete and designed by local architects Walls and Pearn. Built between 1957 and 1959 it has helped play an anchor role in the West End.

Claire Rapson from Coronet Engravers said: “Anything they can do will be an improvement. A long awaited refurbishment will give the market a more modern feel and should encourage shoppers. It’s nice to see the Council spending money on the Market, the anchor of the West End and home to many independent traders.”

This is the latest investment in the market by the Council. Last year it invested over £80,000 in transforming very dated toilet facilities.

If consent is granted, it is hoped that the tender could be awarded in May of this year with works starting shortly afterwards. The whole project will be carried out in phases and in close consultation with the market manager and vendors to ensure there is as little disruption to trade as possible.

A display of the proposals will be in the market from next Wednesday 10 February. They will be on show for a week.