Demolition team starts revamp of Leicester Market

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Demolition team starts revamp of Leicester Market

The first stage in the ambitious transformation of Leicester’s historic market will get under way this week.

National construction company Speller Metcalfe has been awarded the £8million contract to lead the revamp of the market and has already begun preparing the site for demolition.

Heavy equipment will start arriving on site, with the demolition of the old market structure expected to take a little over a fortnight to complete.

Once the site has been cleared, the city council plans to create a market that’s fit for the 21st century but retains all the character of a traditional market place.

Among the improvements for the new-look market will be better lighting, smart new paving and a shuttered perimeter that will keep the site secure at night.

All the old wooden stalls – now in poor condition – will be removed, and 84 smart new stalls installed in their place, creating an attractive environment for the fruit and vegetable traders and other small businesses. The new stalls will be set out in an improved layout to create better pedestrian routes through the market.

The 1970s market roof will be removed and replaced with a smaller covered area, opening up views of the Grade II* listed Corn Exchange and creating space for new trading opportunities.

On one side of the Corn Exchange, attractive, flexible and lockable units – featuring green roofs and solar panels – will be installed in front of the indoor food hall to attract a new generation of traders and a wider range of quality goods.

On the opposite side, the space will be used for temporary specialist markets and special events, while an expanded café will be relocated to a site adjacent to Dolphin Square, where it will offer its customers more outdoor seating and a much more attractive view of the market area.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “This investment in Leicester Market is long overdue, so I’m very pleased that our contractors are now on site.

“If Leicester Market is to be the beating heart of the city centre once again, we need to help it adapt to reflect the way that people shop today.

“By reconfiguring the space and upgrading the environment, we can create new opportunities for new businesses that will complement the existing offer and attract new activity, and new life, to the market area.”

Leicester Market will continue to trade from its temporary site on Green Dragon Square while work to create the new-look market is under way.

Mike Dalzell, the city council’s director for tourism, culture and inward investment, said: “A final timescale for the works will be drawn up once Speller Metcalfe have cleared the site and checked what’s under the ground, beneath the old market.

“Our aim, however, is to complete the revamp of Leicester Market as quickly as we can, with the main works expected to take around 10 months.”


Rob Lashford, Regional Director at Speller Metcalfe said: “We’re proud to be working on this landmark project in Leicester. We have a history of delivering innovative and sustainable projects which contribute to local communities, and know that this scheme will be continue this success.”

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