Preparatory work on Wolverhampton’s new £4.9 million city centre market was well underway last week.
City of Wolverhampton Council announced in January the relocation of the market from Market Square.
The new Southside site, fronting Cleveland Street, will boast 20 cabins and 48 stalls.
It will offer the flexibility to trade from bigger cabins, event space, a secure site with measures in place to combat hostile vehicles while still allowing access for traders to load and unload, CCTV, integrated lighting and power, free WiFi, canopy-covered walkways, offices, customer toilets, and comprehensive parking and storage facilities.
The new market will also provide increased footfall from the Wulfrun Centre and transport Interchange, as well as situating the market in a student catchment area.
As well as the existing traders securing stalls, a number are set to be snapped up by new traders, including a bakery, and discussions are also underway with several street food vendors.
Applications are currently being assessed and the window remains open, with pitches to be allocated to new traders before Christmas.
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “Since the market relocation scheme was first agreed more detailed conversations have been held with the traders over their needs and the designs have been further developed.
“We are consulting regularly with the current traders over the relocation – and we are delighted with the interest we have had from new applicants.
“Their addition will provide a more varied range of sales lines to differentiate it from a traditional market offer.
“The new market, partly funded by the sale of Market Square as part of the Westside scheme, has loads of potential – and we want this to be the people’s market, where events are also encouraged.
“It will prove an asset to the city centre.”
The former Netto store and adjoining buildings were cleared from the Southside site last year and the land converted into an interim car park, which is now boarded off for the works to begin.
The market move will see 48 tented stalls and 16 purpose-built cabins transferred from Market Square in phases.
It is anticipated the move will be completed in Spring 2018.
The Market Square location is to be absorbed into the new £55 million leisure-led Westside development by developer Urban&Civic.
This will deliver a multi-screen cinema, restaurants, bars, hotel, multi-storey car park, apartments, and public realm to the heart of the city centre, in two phases, over five years.
A temporary market has been in place since April last year when the indoor traders joined the outdoor traders in Market Square to enable the demolition of Heantun House and the old indoor market.
The city centre market is one of three markets in Wolverhampton, with Bilston and Wednesfield markets also popular places to shop.
For details on opening times visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/markets.
Anyone wishing to apply for a stall at the new city centre market should email email@example.com.