The two developers are working in partnership on a fresh planning application for an overhaul of Preston’s indoor market, set to include a cinema, restaurants, and a multi-storey car park.
Muse first won planning consent for the redevelopment of the indoor market in 2016; designed by Frank Whittle Partnership, Benoy, and Greig & Stephenson, the project was to include an 11-screen cinema operated by The Light, seven family restaurants, a 593-space multi-storey car park, and public realm improvements.
Demolition of the existing indoor market is already under way, with the façade of the existing art-deco Lancastria House to be retained.
Muse and Maple Grove, part of the Eric Wright Group, have now formed a partnership to rejig the scheme, with a fresh planning application to follow in the coming months.
Preston Council, which owns the land, said the decision to bring the scheme forward with the partnership instead of Muse as sole development partner “is not expected to have a significant impact on the timescale for delivery of the scheme”, and added negotiations for the layout and design of the cinema were being finalised with The Light.
Cllr Matthew Brown, leader of Preston City Council, said: “As the old market hall and car park are being demolished, this is a positive next step for this important city centre site.
“We are confident that there is a sustained demand for this scheme which will complement and strengthen the existing leisure and cultural offer across the city centre, including Preston Markets, the Harris and the Guild Hall, as well as the wide range of established independent businesses. We are also committed to ensure the scheme when completed will be in city ownership, building a more resilient and democratic economy in Preston.
“We believe that Maple Grove Developments are ideally placed to take the scheme forward into the implementation phase and we are pleased to be working with a local business with a strong focus on social purpose.”
The £50m redevelopment of the indoor market is par to of the wider Markets Quarter scheme, which has also included the restoration of the existing Market Hall and public realm improvements.
The refurbished grade-two listed Market Hall opened its doors in February last year following a £3m restoration and expansion carried out by contractor Conlon. Traders at the market include a craft beer bar, a fishmonger, butcher, a Caribbean food stall, a jeweller, a cheesemonger, and flower sellers.