14 January, 2008 – Major makeover for Stockport's historic market hall
This week sees the beginning of the £1.7 million conservation project to restore Stockport's historic Covered Market Hall.
The sensitive refurbishment, which started on Monday 14th January, will breathe new life into the Grade II Listed Victorian building, helping it to meet the needs of today’s shoppers.
Currently home to some 40 market traders, the project aims to provide better facilities for the traders and make the most of the building’s full potential as a dynamic community event space.
Heritage Lottery funding just short of £1 million will be put to good use renovating the buildings unique characteristics, dating back to 1861, as well as adding new and exciting features.
Experts in historic building conservation, Quadriga Ltd, based in Northwich, have been appointed by the Council to undertake this skilled restoration work.
The Council, in partnership with the contractors, has designed a programme of work which will allow the market to stay open for business throughout the development.
During the 10 month project, the decaying timber frame will be sensitively repaired and the tired market stalls refurbished. Services will be improved with new disabled facilities, assisted door openings for easier access and new seating areas for cafés and public use.
New innovative features will include a flagstone floor with underfloor heating system, an open community space ideal for events and an interpretation board and listening post. One side of the Hall will be opened up to provide new serving hatches to allow trading directly onto the street, with awnings above to shelter customers.
Councillor Sue Derbyshire, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: "The 14th January 2008 marks the beginning of a new era for Stockport’s landmark Market Hall.
"Over £700,000 has been invested by the Council in order to secure a thriving and exciting future for the Hall and its traders.
"The restoration promises to not only provide modern and functional space for the market traders and their customers, but also an interesting and vibrant new community area."
The work will be carried out in two phases therefore allowing part of the building to remain open for trading on market days.
The Hall will be split into two halves, with work beginning first in the area facing the Produce Hall (Phase 1). The following phase, the area facing St Mary’s, will only be started on completion of Phase 1. Phase 1 aims to be finished and open for trading by the end of July 2008. The full restoration project is planned to be finished in November 2008, in time to ensure normal Christmas trading.
Julien Lewis, President of the Stockport Branch of the National Market Trader’s Federation, added: "We need to give the market an extra boost and this exciting restoration project will provide a space that meets the needs of 21st century shoppers.
"Keeping disruption to a minimum during the project has been a concern but I’m pleased to say that the Council has co-ordinated the work so that Christmas trade is unaffected and from our point of view it is business as usual."
Source: Stockport MBC press release