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Milestone in plans for multi-million pound revamp of Leeds Kirkgate Market

Kirkgate Market

Kirkgate Market

plans for a multi-million pound revamp of Leeds Kirkgate Market reach a major milestone today.

A report will be published recommending that council officials sign off the design and cost proposals for the £12.3 million project.

It will seek approval for £10.8 million to be spent on improvements to the structure and layout of the historic market.

If approved by the council’s executive board next week, the report will pave the way for a planning application and listed building consent.

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.

“This is a very complex project with many different elements to it and the report being published explains a number of these issues that we’ll need to consider before moving forward.

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.

Improvements are also planned for the outdoor market.

Coun Lewis added: “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.

“This is a very complex project with many different elements to it and the report being published explains a number of these issues that we’ll need to consider before moving forward.”

More than £1.6 million has already been spent to get the plans to this stage.

The report will also announce a package of support for traders wanting to relocate.

If this gets the green light, the council will offer a mixture of grants and interest free loans to help cover the moving and refitting costs.

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

The council is inviting expressions of interest from companies to redevelop the shops on George Street.

Coun Lewis sad: “We’re absolutely clear that we must invest in the market so it can take full advantage of its unique position in Leeds’ retail landscape.

“It would be remiss of us to not invest and pursue the redevelopment of George Street given the opportunity represented by the Victoria Gate development and the millions of predicted visitors.

“Although this is an unrivalled chance to make the market an even bigger success we certainly don’t underestimate the challenges it will present. We’re committed to our pledge that the market will remain open throughout works and we’ll continue to work with traders to minimise disruption.”

If the report is approved, a planning application and an application for listed building consent will follow, with work then expected to start early next year and finish in 2016.

 

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