WORK is finally about to start on the long-awaited project to create Sheffield’s £17 million new Moor Market.
Markets Minister Andrew Stunell came to the city to launch the 79,000 sq ft development on the corner of The Moor and Earl Street, which will be home to 200 stalls and eight new shops.
A demonstration stall was set up in a marquee at the site, with fresh fruit and vegetables, to give a taste of the new market, which is set to open late next year.
Alongside the new market, a £2.6 million investment in the surrounding area will also see improved paving, seating and a green facelift with new plants and flowers.
Mr Stunnell, who gave a speech at the launch, said: “This new development shows there is a real appetite amongst consumers for the authentic market experience – seeing the produce, bartering for a good price and chatting to your friendly stall owner.
“It will be a credit to the city of Sheffield for years to come.”
Sheffield Council leader Coun Julie Dore said: “Our market has one of the highest concentrations of small businesses in the city and the new hall underlines our commitment to helping them succeed.
“The new development will reinforce The Moor’s position as one of Sheffield’s main shopping areas.
“While work is going on it’s business as usual for The Moor and we will try to keep disruption to a minimum.
“The second phase of The Moor’s transformation has begun and we trust shoppers will bear with us during this time.”
The market is being built by contractor Kier and will replace the existing, rundown Castle Market. Builders are to begin work on Monday.
The current market building on Castlegate will be knocked down and the council hopes to expose the remains of the old Sheffield Castle, which could form the centrepiece of a new public park.
Market trader Mick Cull, who runs Fruit Fayre in Castle Market and is chairman of the Castle Indoor branch of the National Market Traders Federation, said: “We welcome the new building and we hope it will keep the best of Sheffield’s market tradition.
“Market traders have a lot to offer. We know our products inside out. Shoppers don’t have to wait until the Moor Market opens to share our knowledge, they can come and see us at Castle Market now.”
When it is completed, the new market will be a striking landmark building. Designed by retail specialists at Leslie Jones Architects, it will have a spectacular glass canopied entrance, low-energy cooling systems and efficient recycling.
Meanwhile, on the upper Moor new trees will be planted and dressed with lights. Colour-change lighting, which has already been used on the lower Moor, will illuminate benches, and three striking new sales kiosks in stainless steel are planned making the area an attractive gateway to the new market and encouraging further investment, including improved shop fronts.
The revamped Moor will form a vital part of the city’s Steel Route, which will run from Moorfoot to Victoria Quays/Wicker and link the city centre with chain of attractive, high quality public spaces of a similar standard to the ‘Gold Route’ from the railway station to Devonshire Green.