Market makeover starts next month

A multi-million makeover for Plymouth’s City Market is due to start towards the end of next month (July).

The Council has this week awarded the contract to Ryearch Ltd to carry out an extensive refurbishment of the listed building.

The market was built in the late 1950s and is one of the busiest and most successful in the country with over a million people a year coming through its doors.

Councillor Ian Darcy, Cabinet member for Finance and ICT signed off the decision to award the contract. He said: “City Market is the lynch pin of the West End and attracts many visitors and businessmen and women who often start their entrepreneurial journey under its roof.

“This scheme is a complex project as it involves preserving a listed building, while at the same time updating facilities so that it has a great future and meets the needs of modern customers and traders.”

Listed building consent had to be applied for ahead of the work being awarded to the contractor. The project entails:

  • Installation of two lifts
  • Additional ventilation and fire suppression to the cafes and fishmongers
  • Full internal redecoration
  • New roof covering
  • New floor to the main hall
  • Replacement windows
  • Remodelling the entrances
  • Conversion of unused store to flexible business space
  • Staff toilet refurbishment
  • New internal lighting
  • Converting day stalls to permanent stalls
  • Converting two washrooms to permanent stalls
  • Improved signage and branding
  • Refurbishing the market office
  • Improved ICT

Councillor Darcy added: “The City Market is a colourful, bustling place where people can snap up some bargains, buy locally grown or caught goods and is a great jumping off point for people wanting to start their own business.

The building is part of our post-war history but we also want it to be part of our future and a key part in the regeneration of the West End, which is why we are investing in it with this major refurbishment.”

The refurbishment will start next month and is expected to take around 12 months to complete. The first phase of the work will entail scaffolding going up around the building to allow access to the concrete ‘wave-y’ roof which will be recovered. Flat parts of the roof will have solar panelling installed.

Managing Director of  Ryearch Mark Wildman said: “As a local Plymouth company Ryearch Ltd is proud to be involved in the restoration of such an iconic Plymouth Building and the regeneration of this City Centre sector as part of the continuing vision for Plymouth.”

City Manager Matthew Jones said: “Part of the tender process was making sure that the work would not cause too much disruption to the traders. A lot of work is planned for outside of the market’s usual hours, for instance. Because it is such an extensive refurbishment, it will be carried out in different phases. “We intend to keep traders in the loop as the project progresses. Bear with us as it will be worth it.”

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.