Preston’s new indoor market hall is to open in early 2018, after traders requested that the existing market stay in place until after the Christmas trading period.
The £3m market hall scheme is part of the £50m Markets Quarter project, which will see Muse demolish the old market next year, to be replaced by an 11-screen cinema and 600-space car park.
The city council said that although work is on schedule – contractor Conlon is due to hand over in December – it is happy to accommodate the wishes of traders at the busiest part of the year.
Cllr Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council said: “We are really pleased with how the works are progressing on site and I have to say what a great job Conlon Construction and the Frank Whittle Partnership are doing to keep to the construction programme.
“We have been working closely with the market traders throughout and we understand that they want the best opportunity to fit out their stalls to the highest possible standard.
“We appreciate that a New Year opening will enable traders to get everything just right for their new market stalls whilst focussing on their businesses over the busy Christmas period.”
The outdoor and second-hand market traders will start to use the restored and re-paved 1875 canopy with new stalls in November. This will free up the historic Fish Market canopy for works to begin on the Box Market, where upgraded shipping containers will provide trading spaces.
Sam Livesey, chairman of the Preston Market Traders Association, said: “We are all working to the same objective: to create a fantastic destination market that Preston can be proud of.
“The building is already looking great and my members want to make sure that their stalls are finished to a high standard to complete the picture. We think this would be best achieved by an early 2018 opening.
“The added bonus is that we can have a successful last Christmas in the old indoor market before we say goodbye to it and it is demolished next year.”