Leeds Kirkgate Market gearing up to welcome its ‘generation next’

An early artists's impression of ''how the new indoor daily market at Kirkgate Market could look.
An early artists's impression of ''how the new indoor daily market at Kirkgate Market could look.
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PLANS for a £12.3m makeover of Leeds’s historic Kirkgate Market building are set to come before planning chiefs for the first time this week.

Council bosses have signed off the key funding for the flagship project, which they hope will introduce the market to a new generation of shoppers.

The release of the funding has paved the way for a planning application and listed building consent to follow.

Papers to be presented to the City Plans Panel this week lay out details of the initial proposals, and invite pre-application debate.

The plans include a brand new ‘market village’ - with extended opening hours - which will complement the £130m Victoria Gate development, and new roof coverings.

At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board, the panel welcomed the milestone moment for the highly anticipated and often controversial plans, which will see many traders relocated.

Sue Burgess, markets manager, told the panel that “dialogue has been ongoing and will continue to be ongoing” with stall holders. She said the next step was to “engage with tenants on a one-to-one basis about their businesses”.

Coun Stewart Golton, leader of the Lib Dem group, said: “This is a very much needed investment in the very fabric of the building. Traders will see their takings up just from curiosity, because there is a whole new generation that have never even been in the market. This refit will give it a renaissance for those people who have yet to enjoy its benefits.”

Council leader Keith Wakefield added: “It’s sad when you see markets in other parts of Yorkshire that are closing, and we are doing the opposite despite the financial pressures.

“In 2016, we will have a completely new dimension to what we offer people.”

Double boost for Leeds city centre cultural and heritage buildings