Work on Wolverhampton’s new city centre market is set to start in early August after planning permission was granted. 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. Dozens of enquiries have been received from prospective traders interested in being part of the new market and there is already a waiting list for some of the new facilities.
The council is now only taking applications for cabins from street food vendors as all the retail units are taken, and there is limited space remaining on the outdoor stalls.
The new market will provide increased footfall from the Wulfrun Centre and transport Interchange, as well as situating the market in a student catchment area.
The current city centre traders have had first refusal on obtaining licenses at the new market, which will offer the flexibility to trade from bigger cabins, a secure site, CCTV, integrated lighting and power, free WiFi, canopy-covered walkways, offices, customer toilets, and comprehensive parking and storage facilities.
Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “Demand for the new city market is high and now the plans have been approved we can secure a contractor to deliver the scheme.
“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, 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, paving the way for the move, which 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 winter 2017/18 – but not during the Christmas trade period.
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.