The latest phase of the £142m Time Square retail and leisure scheme, the market hall, is expected to open from 15 June and become the “beating heart” of Warrington, according to one of the project partners, Muse Developments.
Muse is overseeing the £12m market hall build and the wider Time Square project, in partnership with Warrington Council’s regeneration agency Warrington & Co.
The 45,000 sq ft Warrington Market, designed by architectural practice Leach Rhodes Walker and built by Vinci Construction, fronts Time Square and has space for 55 retail stalls that will house a mix of businesses.
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A total of 14 stalls have been taken up for food & beverage retailers, including meat, fish and fruit and vegetables, coffee, bread and artisan products, while the remainder will include flowers, jewellery, a hairdresser, tattoo artist, and more.
The revamped market is expected to attract 20,000 visitors each week in the months and years after lockdown restrictions are fully lifted, Leon Guyett, development director at Muse, told Place North West.
“We are finding that in a lot of towns, the old, historic markets have had a real renaissance in the past five years,” he said.
“For us, it’s about bringing those markets up to modern standards and introducing the right mix of retailers so that there’s something for everyone.
“We truly think that Warrington Market looks fantastic, presents the right blend of old and new in terms of its appearance and feel, and has the potential to become the beating heart of Warrington – no doubt about it.”
Warrington Market dates back to 1255 when traders first opened stalls on the site off Horrocks Lane in the town centre.
The project has involved the demolition of part of the historic market building and relocation of traders to a 30,000 sq ft temporary market hall on Bridge Street, fitted out by Styles & Wood, which fell into administration this year.
The temporary market will close to customers on Saturday as traders prepare to relocate to the rebuilt facility, which will open in phases according to the pandemic.
The building features a spacious food court, mezzanine floor and outdoor terrace. It is the latest addition to the Time Square development, which is nearing completion with an 103,000 sq ft council office building, 13-screen Cineworld cinema, 70,000 sq ft of bars and restaurants, a car park and public realm.
F&B operator The Botanist has a 10,000 sq ft bar at Time Square and another tenant is expected to be announced in the coming days, according to Guyett. Metis Real Estate is the letting agent for the scheme.
Muse is now working with the council and an unnamed architect on a potential third phase of mixed-use development at Time Square, to sit adjacent to the current scheme.
Guyett would not be drawn on the details, which are in the very early stages. However, he said that any future development would benefit from future footfall generated by Time Square and by several neighbouring developments in the town centre. “Warrington is on the up, and we are very keen to do more here,” he said.