At Last! Work on Sheffield’s £17.5 million commercial property Moor Market will finally begin in two months – 14 months after the project to replace ageing Castle Market was first projected.
Sheffield Council has appointed Kier construction to construct the 79,000 sq ft commercial property building on empty land opposite Atkinson’s, where old commercial property shops were demolished.
Building work will take approximately 16 months to complete and the new commercial property market is scheduled to open on November 4, 2013.
Backing for the renovation will be borrowed by Sheffield Council.
The new commercial property building will house a single-storey commercial property market hall to house 200 stalls, plus eight two-storey commercial property shop units overlooking The Moor.
A second contract funded by Scottish Widows, to repave the upper part of The Moor at a cost of £2.6 million, has also been given to North Midland Construction and will be finished in the same timescale as the commercial property market scheme.
Simon Green, Executive Director at Sheffield Council said: “The markets have been central to Sheffield for more than 800 years. The new Moor Market will be a tremendous opportunity to reach a wider range of customers in a new setting for the 21st century.”
Andy Ward, Markets Manager, revealed trade at Castle Market is continuing to drop, with electronic machines calculating four million visits last year, down from six million a decade ago, nevertheless forecast a new commercial property building would help reverse the decline.
Ward said: “Castle Market has some fantastic traders and we are trying to look after them in this new building, while also trying to bring back some of the traders we have lost.”
Mr Ward said the new commercial property market would have a smaller quantity of stalls than the 238 stalls at Castle Market, but 40 per cent of the Castle Market’s stalls are vacant. The Moor has more buses serving it than the Castle Market area so it would be easier for more customers to travel to.
Head of city centre development at Sheffield Council; Simon Ogden said the council plans to press ahead with plans to exhume the site of the current markers to establish what remains of the medieval castle.
He said: “English Heritage does not support any application to have the existing building listed and we do not support that either.
“This is the first opportunity since the 1920s to assess what is beneath. We would like to see what’s there and then how that could fit around new public areas and development.”
Mr Ogden said a scheme to improve the commercial property market, which then involved rebuilding at Castlegate, was first suggested in 1998. Sheffield Council said it had not paid out major amounts on upkeep to the current market because of long-standing plans to restructure the commercial property facility.