Work on New Food Hall is Back on Track

October 23, 2013

Work to construct a new food hall at Leicester Market is back on track, now that contractors working on the project have overcome a series of unexpected challenges.

A network of underground services that didn’t appear on plans of the area had caused major complications on site, hampering progress on the scheme. This has delayed the opening of the new food hall until Easter 2014.

But with the arrival of the structure’s steel framework in two weeks’ time, and the giant glued laminate beams due to arrive shortly afterwards, the impressive new building will rapidly take shape.

Project manager Mike Dalzell said: “No one could have foreseen these difficulties, but all the problems have now been overcome and we can get on with the construction.

“The delay means that the traders won’t be able to move into their purpose-built food hall until Easter, but we’ve spoken to them about how we’re going to help them continue to trade in their existing premises.

“We’ll be waiving their rent in the New Year and will be coming up with a programme of events that will encourage shoppers to visit the old indoor market for their meat, fish and deli needs.

“Although the delay is unfortunate, it was unavoidable – and we’re confident that the environment and the facilities that the new food hall will provide will be worth waiting for.”

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The food traders have been working closely with staff at the market to select their fixtures and fittings, including top of the range specialist food counters.

The stylish new counters will be easy to maintain – and ensure that fresh produce is stored in optimum conditions.

When they move in to their new home at Easter, food traders will enjoy a bright and airy environment, with suspended lamps and natural daylight ensuring that the space is well lit.

Insulated floors and ceilings will keep working conditions comfortable – and new layouts will help create an authentic market atmosphere.

Glued laminated timber beams will form large, clear spans, minimising the need for columns and maximising the flexibility of the useable floor space.

Other traders in the indoor market, who were due to move out at the end of December, have also been given the option to extend their tenancy until 29 March 2014.

Markets Business Manager Sairah Butt said: “We’ve written to the traders to advise them that the market hall will now be open until the end of March.

“Rent for this period will be waived, so any trader who would like to continue trading and extend their tenancy beyond December should get in touch with us as soon as possible.”

Keith Ashmore, from Edwards Butchers added: “While the news about the delay is disappointing, the new food hall is going to be worth the wait. We just need customers to remember we are still here and to carry on shopping with us until we relocate in April.”