Contractors will begin work this month on the restoration of the listed Market Hall in Holyhead for the Isle of Anglesey County Council.
Conservation architect Purcell has been awarded a £235,000 contract to design the building’s conversion into a library and community centre. The contractor is Grosvenor Construction of Kinmel Bay. Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £2.43m towards the project, with further funding secured from Welsh Government.
Originally built in 1855, Market Hall has been derelict in the heart of the town centre for more than a decade. Cllr Richard Dew, planning portfolio holder for the council, said: “This is an ambitious project which will preserve an important civic building and a significant piece of Holyhead’s rich history. It will also create a focal point for the local community and a meaningful space for its residents. As well as creating a brand new library, the new Market Hall building will serve as a hub to direct visitors to local tourism places of interest. The project will give people opportunities to access the building and use it to help people learn about heritage, gain new skills, support community events and provide space for growing businesses. We’re excited to be working with our funding partners and local stakeholders on this fantastic project, and look forward to seeing the Market Hall project making a real difference when the work has finished.”
The construction of Market Hall in the middle of the 19th century coincided with a population and housing boom. The building was a focus for community activity and performed a number of roles in addition to its function as a covered area for traders, including assembly rooms, library for the Holyhead Mechanics Institute, militia depot and court.
The council became involved with Holyhead Market Hall after concerns were raised about its deteriorating condition a decade ago. The future of the building has been at risk having fallen into disrepair in recent years. The council said its efforts to negotiate a solution with the previous owner, a North West based investor, failed and it was forced to serve the owner with a repairs notice and Compulsory Purchase Order in 2015. Following a public inquiry, the Welsh Ministers transferred ownership of the building to the council in late July 2016.