Fall in love with the new look Plymouth Market


People living in and around Plymouth are being urged to fall in love with their market again after a major £3.5 million makeover.

A Grand Day Out is being organised for Saturday 30 September to mark the end of the refurbishment works on the listed building. Market traders and the council hope people will take a fresh look at the distinctive building and all the stalls under its unique roof.

Leader of Plymouth City Council, Councillor Ian Bowyer said: “You can really see the difference. The interior is a lot brighter and airier and makes this important building a much better place to be in and to wander around.

“We wanted to invest in the market as it has played, and continues to play, such an important role in the retail life of the city. It’s where businesses start up and has an incredible sense of community. I hope people who live in and around Plymouth take a look for themselves and help support the local traders.

The Grade II listed building was designed by local architects Walls and Pearn and built between 1957 and 1959 it has helped play an anchor role in the West End. Contractors Ryearch Ltd carried out the extensive refurbishment project over 12 months and including:

  • recovering the concrete ‘wavey’ roof
  • installing solar panelling
  • installing a new lift
  • additional ventilation and fire suppression to the cafes and fishmongers
  • full internal redecoration
  • new floor to the main hall
  • replacing windows
  • remodelling the entrances
  • converting unused store to flexible business space
  • staff toilet refurbishment
  • new internal lighting
  • converting day stalls to permanent stalls
  • converting two washrooms to permanent stalls
  • refurbishing the market office

Project manager John London said: “The whole project has gone pretty well. We worked with the contractors to make sure there was as little disruption as possible, including working out of hours. We’ve particularly had comments from people who are very pleased to see the new lift in as that’s made a real difference.”

The market has over a million visitors each year, making it one of the busiest and most successful markets in the country. 

The Council is keen to support businesses in the market and the West End. It recently announced a makeover for the route in to the West End from Western Approach via Market Way.

Major projects are already underway in the City Centre and Waterfront area, including the regeneration of Millbay by English Cities Fund with over 400 homes, employment space, a new school, marina and restaurant now complete as well as outline consent for a further 600 homes, more leisure, retail, office, hotel development.

A new coach station has opened, work has started on the new £34 million Box – the city’s new history, arts and culture centre on North Hill and the first phase of demolition work at Colin Campbell Court in the West End has just finished as part of a long term regeneration scheme.

Also in the pipeline is a £27milion improvement programme designed to improve the public spaces in and around the city centre. 

Follow the market for offers and happenings at www.plymouthcitymarket. co.uk, facebook/plymouthcitymarket, or on twitter @plymouthmarket 

Case study 1Chilli-based food stall, Some Like It Hot is run by Tracey Medley, a keen gardener. When faced with a glut of tomatoes and chillies, Tracey made more chutney than she and her family could eat: selling her homemade preserves and condiments was the obvious next step and the idea for a stall in the market was born.

Tracey said: “I wanted to turn my hobby into a business but didn’t want the hassle of selling at craft fairs so a stall in the Market was the obvious choice.

“Here I can test the water without the expensive outlay of opening a shop in the high street and really find out what customers want. The stall has taken off much quicker than I expected and I’m loving market life. I’d recommend other would-be entrepreneurs to try it here.”

Tracey is building a loyal client base with key favourites in her product range, much of it supplied by small local suppliers including Dartmoor Chilli Farm and South Devon Chilli Farm. Tracey says Wasabi and Mango Mayo has gone down a storm with foodies, and made from the hottest peppers known to man, Carolina Reaper Sauce is a real hit with her younger male customers.

“I’m really having fun here, and I’m surrounded by a nice bunch of people.”

Case study 2 The mother of two boys who love to paint, Emmeline Kwaan, had always wanted her own business and with her history in nursery teaching and love of art, the idea for Totally Potty was born.

Emmeline felt the Market was the ideal place to put her dream into practice, starting small and seeing where her idea goes. Totally Potty involves painting ceramics from the wide range of options Emmeline has available. It’s not just kids who have un painting: adults get involved too, from couples to students.

Emmeline says she would recommend to anyone to start their business in the Market, with a key benefit being that you don’t have to tie yourself in to years of a lease on a shop.

She says: “Once people know about your stall, it’s a really good place to be. Come the autumn when the refurbishments are complete, people will be really keen to visit and see the changes here – so getting a stall now is a wise move.”

Emmeline plans to extend her range, particularly closer to Christmas when she’ll stock a range of festive ceramic. Current favourites with her customers are clocks and coasters and with children, a range of cute animals.

Anyone interested in taking a stall in the market should contact the team on 01752 306551. For more information about the Grand Day Out visit http://plymouthnewsroom.co.uk/join-plymouth-market-grand-day-september/