Major investment for Preston Markets

Source: Preston City Council 22 August 2019
Cllr Brown and Cllr Boswell

Following a unanimous decision at full Council on 22nd August 2019, significant investment has been approved to further enhance the Market Hall at Preston Markets. It has also been agreed that there will be a substantial 30% rent reduction offer to traders in the Market Hall, fixed for three years.

Today a major capital investment scheme has been agreed by Council, to improve the ambient temperature within the Market Hall. This includes installation of canopies above the internal walkways, the height of the stall roofs. This will improve the environment throughout the year and ensure it is a more comfortable temperature for customers and traders.

In order to maintain the visual appearance of the underside of the original 1875 canopy, the proposed new structure will be fabricated of steel frames, infilled with clear polycarbonate panels in a pitched design.

Since the opening of the Market Hall in February 2018, the Council has been acutely aware of the issues that traders have faced. Given the complex nature of the structure and canopies, it has taken considerable time to examine potential options and come to a viable solution.

Timescales for this project are currently being negotiated, but it is the Council’s intention to start as soon as possible.

Also today Preston City Council has agreed to a significant reduction of rent levels in the Market Hall by 30% from 1st April 2019 until 31st March 2022. This rent relief will allow existing traders to develop their businesses and new traders to establish themselves in a revitalised Market Hall, which in turn, will enable Preston Markets as a whole to thrive.

The Council understands that the traders sought a 50% rent reduction but, the Council feel that a 30% rent reduction combined with significant investment in the canopy walkways is a fair and generous offer.

The Council is fully committed to the success of Preston Markets and seeking new tenants. Various incentives are on offer, including an initial free rent period for new tenants and supportive on-going negotiations with current traders looking to expand.

Councillor Robert Boswell, Cabinet Member for Environment at Preston City Council said:

“Preston City Council is fully committed to the success of Preston Markets. The rent reductions will enable current businesses to grow and potential new businesses to establish themselves in the Market Hall.

The installation of the walkway canopies will improve the ambient temperature within the Market Hall, while still being able to view the historic 1875 canopy.

We have a market full of excellent products – freshly made food and drinks, accessories, produce, fresh meat and an amazing selection of cheese – and we need Prestonians to support these local businesses and enjoy what Preston Markets has to offer.”

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council said:

“In a time of continued austerity, with more uncertainty ahead, the cabinet members at Preston City Council have taken the decision to invest significantly more resources in the Market Hall. This budget could have been allocated towards another council priority, but the success of the markets is and always will be of high importance to the council”

Sam Livesey, Chairman of the Traders Association at Preston Markets said:

“We welcome the news that the Council have taken the points outlined in our letter seriously. We now look forward to sharing these new proposals with traders and hearing their views. All our members want to work collaboratively with the Council to find solutions and ensure a successful future for the new Preston Market.”

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