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What do you think of £7m market revamp?

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This is the view shoppers can expect when they visit Leicester's market after a proposed £7 million revamp.

Architects have created a computer-animated walk-through of the modern fish and meat hall Leicester City Council intends to build at the side of the 19th-century Corn Exchange.

The two-minute clip also shows the public square planned to replace the existing 1970s indoor market, which is to be demolished.

City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby has described the current market building as dank and squalid, and says the proposed replacement timber and glass pavilion will be lighter, more airy and pleasant for traders and their customers. Yesterday, the council launched a six-week consultation on its scheme as it unveiled the animation

Sir Peter said: "I hope people will be excited by what we hope to do to improve the market, which is a vital part of the city centre economy.

"It can be hard to visualise plans from drawings, so we have done this short walk-through to better demonstrate what we have in mind.

"Our market is unique – a genuine Leicester icon ideally situated in the heart of a conservation area.

"We need to make the most of it, with a scheme that will encourage more local people to shop there and that will turn the market into a must-see attraction for tourists and other visitors.

"I want this new investment to unlock the market's true potential and help kick-start the regeneration of the surrounding area, but I'm very keen to hear what local people think about our proposals.

"I would encourage anyone with an interest in the future of Leicester's historic market to look at these concept designs and submit any comments or suggestions to us."

The idea has already been well received by market traders' representatives.

Fruit and veg stall-holder Paddy Deevey, who is chairman of the Leicester Branch of the National Market Traders Federation, said: "I think it looks good and it shows a commitment to the future of the market which has not had the attention it deserves over the years."

Sir Peter said there would be room to tweak the designs following consultation but said he wanted to press ahead and have the new hall built and open by Christmas.

After that, the old building would be flattened and the square created during the following 12 months.

Sir Peter says he will borrow cash to pay for the redevelopment against the £650,000 annual income the market brings in.

Officials will be holding a number of sessions at the Corn Exchange in the next few weeks to explain the proposal to shoppers.

The animation can be seen, and comments can be made, on the city council's website at:

www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk

For more information visit:

www.leicester.gov.uk/ marketconsultation

What do you think of £7m market revamp?


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