Survey Helps Shape Vision for Market

February 12, 2016

Outdoor Market Fly-Through Screenshot

 

A range of ideas for improving Leicester’s historic Outdoor Market have been supported by traders and shoppers. 

Hundreds of people gave their views through the survey, which ran for eight weeks, with many saying that a coat of paint, better cleaning and less clutter would be simple ways to upgrade the Market.

Better protection from the weather and improved security were priorities for the traders who responded, while shoppers called for access points into the Market to be improved.

People who do not normally shop at the Market suggested that the quality and range of goods on offer could be improved, and there were also calls for more specialist markets and more events in the evenings and on Sundays.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We outlined a number of ideas back in October, which have now been tested through the consultation process.

“That feedback has helped us come up with a range of proposals that would transform the overall look and feel of the Market, while improving the experience for traders, shoppers and visitors.

“A deep-clean, some repainting, and more natural light would have an instant impact, but we also want to consider some more significant changes. How could we improve shoppers’ routes through the Market? How could we accommodate specialist markets and other events? And how could we protect it from anti-social behaviour at night?

“The proposals that are now being developed will address those challenges and we look forward to discussing them in more detail with the market traders.”

Under the new proposals, a customer service point would be reinstated in the Market, together with a recycling point and additional storage for traders.

A number of stalls could be relocated or reconfigured to create clearer routes through the Market, as well as a flexible space for special events.

Proposals to secure the Market at night could also help protect shoppers and traders from the wind and rain.

By moving a number of lock-up units to the edge of Market Place North, and by introducing storage units for traders along the Market Place East frontage, the council would create some new solid sections around the Market.

These would act as a windbreak during trading hours – and form part of a secured, shuttered perimeter at night.

If the whole space could be secured in this way, operators looking for venues for events on Sundays or in the evenings may find the Market a more attractive option.

Project manager Mike Dalzell said: “We think these proposals strike a balance between offering a bit more protection from the elements – and maintaining the character of the market as an open and accessible place, with all the hustle and bustle that makes the market unique.”

The City Council will now run a series of workshops with market traders to look at the proposals in more depth, before detailed proposals are drawn up and costed.

More than 400 people took part in the survey, including 54 market traders and 80 people who do not shop at Leicester Market.

Please click here to view an animated fly-through, showing how the Market could look if the proposals go ahead.