Preston retenders market canopy

Preston City Council is retendering for architects to deliver a redevelopment of the grade two-listed 1875 market canopy in the city centre, as part of the wider Markets Quarter scheme.

The council has said that it is putting “significant additional investment” into the project, which requires the scheme to be retendered. The architect previously appointed to reconfigure the market canopy was IBI Group.

The canopy restoration forms phase one of the Markets Quarter. Once complete, a new facility will be built under the canopy and traders currently occupying the indoor market. The move of the traders will allow for the demolition of the old market, and the site used for the construction of a cinema-led scheme which is being delivered by Muse Developments.

Muse is working with architects Benoy on the project.

A planning application for the 1875 market is due to be submitted in spring 2016.

Cllr Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, said: “We’ve opened a dialogue with traders and are keen to work in partnership with all traders to deliver a brighter future for the markets. Indeed, following on from this consultation it is clear that we need to invest more money into the market to make sure we “get it right” for traders and also for Preston which prides its self on a unique, thriving and vibrant market.

“This commitment to investing more into the markets does however present us with different challenges. For example, we now have to look again at the procurement of professional services supporting the project, such as architects, but it’s a nice challenge to have.”

Architects have until 1 September to submit tenders for the project.

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I think that this project, as with the bus station redevelopment, should be shelved for the time being. Focus should be on rejuvenating the city centre. Personally, I would demolish the block between Winckley Street and Chapel Street – this would enable the city centre to be extended off Fishergate into Winkley Square. Winkley Square has some excellent architecture and could become the centre of a more sedate and quality night time economy, together with providing an alternative retail offering. It then makes the link with Avenham Park and the river. Fishergate then needs pedestrianizing and a tram connecting the docks with the rail station (the track exists).

By Brian

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