Report on next steps for Kirkgate Market published

Statement regarding the refurbishment of Kirkgate Market following the publication of a key report today, Tuesday 25 March.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development and economy, said:

“This is the most significant investment in the market for a number of years and is absolutely vital for its future. As well as protecting a valuable historical asset, we have to bring the building up to modern standards. Creating a pleasant, vibrant market atmosphere is essential to enable the market to grow, support existing businesses and encourage new ones. We would have to invest in the fabric of the building regardless of what else is happening in the city, but the opportunity to create a quality market environment that customers expect while capitalising on the opportunity of millions of visitors coming to the area when Victoria Gate opens is too good to miss.

“As with any scheme on this scale it is inevitable that there will be some disruption and we understand that traders are concerned about the impact this will have. We have pledged to keep the market open throughout the refurbishment and we’re under no illusions about the challenges this will bring. However we must fix the basics that will improve the environment and retail offer as we’re confident that this will help increase visitor numbers and spending.

“We’ve met with traders on a number of occasions and we’re working exceptionally hard to address their concerns and mitigate the disruption. We’ll continue to work with traders throughout the refurbishment. This highlights just how important the new management board will be, with trader representation helping us steer the decision making process as well as working with us throughout the refurbishment.

“It is important that executive board discuss and debate the opportunities, issues and challenges the market refurbishment will bring. Doing nothing or delaying the works is not an option if we want to ensure the markets future success and prosperity.”

Executive Board meet on Wednesday 2 April to consider the report.