New design proposals for a revamp of Leicester’s market have been released today by the city council.
The designs represent what the council hope to be an open piazza-style space in which citizens can enjoy a vibrant new area to dine and shop in the city.
Plans include a new Food Hall to be constructed and opened in 2014, an extension to the rear of the Corn Exchange enabling space for a new restaurant or bar; as well as a terrace which would overlook the square and offer unique views of the city to prospective patrons.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby announced the markets £9 million investment plans late last year saying, “We asked our architects to come up with a master plan for the market that would increase footfall through the site by creating a new food hall, a new public space and new improved links to the rest of the city centre’s main shopping areas,.”
In addition to the buildings, the area would be redeveloped to be more inviting with play equipment, seating and trees providing a more family friendly and welcoming environment. It would also provide a home for a new statue of suffragette Alice Hawkins who delivered many of her speeches from the Corn Exchange steps.
The redevelopment will not only increase Leicester citizens use of the market square but is sure to see a rise in visitors to the city as Mayor Soulsby continued, “These designs show a spectacular transformation of a key site that’s in the heart of a conservation area and just yards from Leicester’s High Street. We all know that Leicester Market is one of the city’s treasures, but these proposals will help it realise its huge potential.”
The city council submitted an application for European funding as it is estimated the revamp will cost a total of £2.1 million. The architects working on the Corn Exchange extension have designed a proportionate and appropriate structure to match the original building.
These design plans will now be on display in the Market Place and available for public consultation, with several upcoming events where Leicestershire citizens can give their opinion on the plans. Today sees the project team presenting at the Older Person’s Forum, before moving onto the Conservation Advisory Panel on 25 September.
The proposals can also be viewed online at www.leicester.gov.uk/connectingleicester.