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Plans submitted for £3m investment in Leek’s indoor markets

Plans for the £3.2m investment in Leek’s historic indoor markets have been submitted as part of the Levelling Up programme to regenerate the town centre.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council was awarded £17.1m earlier this year to provide enhanced retail, cultural and wellbeing amenities in the town.

Designs detailing the plans for Leek’s historic indoor markets – which have been at the heart of town life for hundreds of years and are central to this once-in-a-generation programme – have now been submitted for planning consent.

At the Butter Market, the plans include investing in retail spaces and shopfronts to improve the shopping environment, whilst the Trestle Market will be refurbished to provide a flexible retail and events space with three independent food and drink outlets and customer seating area.

The entrances on Derby Street and Silk Street will also be improved and a new access point, through a former opening leading to Derby Street, will be created enabling the Trestle Market to be open at times when the Butter Market isn’t to allow for independent operation of this space. The Derby Street entrance gates and original cast iron signage will be restored and redecorated.

Recognising the markets location in the conservation area, features such as the glazed tiling and roof trusses will be preserved and the imitation slates on the roof will be replaced with real slate.

Councillor Matt Swindlehurst, Cabinet member for Leisure and Tourism, said: “This is a really exciting point in the programme – the plans are now at the stage where we’re seeking planning approval so we can meet our aim of starting the work on site in the New Year.

“This significant investment will integrate the buildings seamlessly and deliver improvements for the businesses and market traders, shoppers, and the local community as we open up flexible space for events.

“It will ensure these buildings are fit for the future whilst at all times respecting and retaining the important heritage aspects of their Victorian character which give them such a special status in the town.”

The Council is keen to support traders whilst the construction work takes place and is in discussions with the businesses and traders in the indoor markets about the practicalities of how the work will be carried out.

Councillor Swindlehurst added: “The whole point of this significant investment – in the markets, Brough Park Leisure Centre and the Nicholson Institute – is to ensure that Leek and the Moorlands have the facilities and amenities people expect and deserve and that it continues to be a place where people choose to live, work and play.

“We are mindful of doing what we can, wherever possible, to ensure that the impact of the construction works that inevitably come with investing in improvements is minimised and that we listen to traders, and other partners, as part of agreeing how the works will be carried out.

“These conversations are happening now and we’ll make sure we keep people informed about what to expect in due course.”

The other projects which make up the LUF programme are:

  • Brough Park Leisure Centre – where the existing pool will be replaced and new exercise studios will be provided
  • Nicholson Institute – where plans include redesigning the library and museum areas and bringing the lower ground floor back into use
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