WORK will start on the £52 million regeneration of Warrington town centre’s Bridge Street quarter early in the new year – subject to approval
being given at next week’s planning committee (Dec 11).
The plans will involve moving the town’s current town centre market into a temporary home but the council believes the plans will lead to a bustling vibrant market place at the heart of the new development.
When open in 2018 the new market hall will incorporate the magnificent, Grade 2 listed former Boots building façade on Bridge Street as one of its entrances. The opposite side of the building will feature entrances out towards the new square in front of the new multiplex cinema. Access into the market will also be available from the two other sides of the building in order to generate and promote through footfall and promote trade.
It will be necessary to deliver the scheme in two construction phases in order to minimise disruption for the market traders. The first building to be constructed on the site of Time Square will be fully equipped and fitted out to serve as a provisional home for the market to allow the existing, outdated market hall to be demolished and the new market hall to be constructed.
In early 2017 the market will move from its current ageing premises to a new 31,150 sq ft building to be built on what is currently Time Square which will serve as a temporary market hall. Protecting the vibrancy of trade at the market is a primary concern in order that businesses are in a robust state to move to the new permanent market in 2018. At no time will the market cease to trade.
The present market halls total 65,000 sq ft in size and are dated and under-occupied. The new £10 million market hall when completed will be approximately 40,000 sq ft.
Deputy Leader of Warrington Borough Council, Councillor Mike Hannon (pictured right) said: “Like most people in Warrington, the market is very close to my heart. Protecting Warrington’s market now and into the future is a primary concern in the Bridge Street regeneration project and £10 million is to be invested in the creation of a new market hall which will be the envy of other towns and cities.
“It is regrettable, but unavoidable that the market will have to temporarily relocate. However we will be working very hard to make the transition as easy as possible for traders and shoppers. We will also be making every effort to promote the market and build and grow trade.”