City Council To Put “Significant Investment” Into Market Hall & Provide Rent Relief

Major investment has been agreed for Prestons new Market by Preston City Council.

Following a unanimous decision at the Council on 22nd August 2019, significant investment has been approved to further enhance the Market Hall at Preston Markets. It has also been agreed that there will be a substantial 30% rent reduction offer to traders in the Market Hall, fixed for three years.

A priority for the Council is to improve the ambient temperature within the Market Hall. This includes installation of canopies above the internal walkways, the height of the stall roofs. This will improve the environment throughout the year and ensure it is a more comfortable temperature for customers and traders.

In order to maintain the visual appearance of the underside of the original 1875 canopy, the proposed new structure will be fabricated of steel frames, infilled with clear polycarbonate panels in a pitched design.

Preston City Council acknowledged that they were aware of the issues traders faced. Timescales for this project are currently being negotiated, but it is the Council’s intention to start as soon as possible.

Preston City Council has also agreed to a significant reduction of rent levels in the Market Hall by 30% from 1st April 2019 until 31st March 2022. This rent relief will allow existing traders to develop their businesses and new traders to establish themselves in a revitalised Market Hall, which in turn, will enable Preston Markets as a whole to thrive.

The Council understands that the traders sought a 50% rent reduction but, the Council feel that a 30% rent reduction combined with significant investment in the canopy walkways is a fair and generous offer.

The Council is fully committed to the success of Preston Markets and seeking new tenants. Various incentives are on offer, including an initial free rent period for new tenants and supportive on-going negotiations with current traders looking to expand.

Councillor Robert Boswell, Cabinet Member for Environment at Preston City Council said: “Preston City Council is fully committed to the success of Preston Markets. The rent reductions will enable current businesses to grow and potential new businesses to establish themselves in the Market Hall.

The installation of the walkway canopies will improve the ambient temperature within the Market Hall, while still being able to view the historic 1875 canopy.

We have a market full of excellent products – freshly made food and drinks, accessories, produce, fresh meat and an amazing selection of cheese – and we need Prestonians to support these local businesses and enjoy what Preston Markets has to offer.”

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council said: “In a time of continued austerity, with more uncertainty ahead, the cabinet members at Preston City Council have taken the decision to invest significantly more resources in the Market Hall. This budget could have been allocated towards another council priority, but the success of the markets is and always will be of high importance to the council”

Sam Livesey, Chairman of the Traders Association at Preston Markets said: “We welcome the news that the Council have taken the points outlined in our letter seriously.

We now look forward to sharing these new proposals with traders and hearing their views.

All our members want to work collaboratively with the Council to find solutions and ensure a successful future for the new Preston Market.”

Further Information
– The revised rents will be fixed for the next three years, subject to tenants signing a new three year lease.
– This rent offer was issued in good faith to traders on 2nd August 2019.
– Market traders were due to have a rent increase between February and April 2019 in line with their individual lease terms and conditions, following the original budget forecast.
– The original rents charged at the new Market Hall, were set prior to its opening and were based on rents charged at other markets in the area.
– The rent reduction level was proposed to the Council, by an independent Chartered Surveyor who specialises in retail agency work, to bring the rentals down to a similar level compared to other retail property in Preston.
– The aim of the walkway canopies is to retain the heat already generated in the Market Hall, rather than introduce additional heat sources.
– A full project timeline of the canopy build will be published in the near future, including designs and a completion date.
Due to the urgency of this proposal the original architect/structural engineering consultants for the Market Hall, Frank Whittle Partnership, have been retained under a Framework Agreement.

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