Controversial £2.7m plans for revamp of town’s market place revealed

Artist's impression of how the Great Yarmouth Market Place will look after the 2.7m redevelopment. P

Artist's impression of how the Great Yarmouth Market Place will look after the 2.7m redevelopment. Picture: Hudson Architects - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans to redevelop Great Yarmouth's historic Market Place have been revealed.

The £2.7m redevelopment would see 36 new single and double stall units installed under a new 'architectually-striking' market canopy. Proposals also include a flexible market called 'the Big Market' which will incorporate the current two-day market pitches to allow for visiting markets, events and new stallholders.

The redevelopment, which is being led by Hudson Architects, would see the market extended towards King Street and Market Gates which Great Yarmouth Borough Council say will capture the market as an 'experience' and 'wider retail offer'.

Head of property and assets at the borough council, Jane Beck, said: 'We have worked with traders and will continue to do so in order to find a solution that is right for Great Yarmouth.

'We have listened to traders and believe these plans provide the flexibility needed to meet their individual needs.'

Great Yarmouth Borough Council said the market needs to undergo a major revamp with the existing canopy outlasting its 25-year lifespan.

It has also cited the increasing cost of maintenance and the lack of mobility of stalls as reasons highlighting the need for redevelopment.

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One of the major concerns stallholders have raised relates to the existing individuality and authenticity their stalls currently have. Many of the stalls have equipment which is bespoke fitting.

Council leader, Graham Plant, has reassured traders the borough council will work with them and provide as much flexibility as it can.

He said: 'We know how important it is that we get this right as we're talking about people's livelihoods. The discussions around the redevelopment have been difficult but not doing anything with the market is not an option.We aim to create a competitive market which attracts new traders and visitors as well as meeting the needs of existing stallholders.'

Although traders currently own their stalls they will have to lease the new units from the borough council, another issue stallholders have previously raised. The council has submitted a £1.5m bid to the Coastal Communities Fund to contribute towards the costs of redevelopment.

The proposals will be considered by the borough council's policy and resources committee next Tuesday with the aim of the new market opening in spring 2020. During the redevelopment traders will be moved onto a temporary site on the Market Square.

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