The leader of Preston Council has appealed to indoor market traders to work alongside architects to develop a replacement home.
Coun Peter Rankin told the latest full council meeting the authority was keen to meet the needs of staff so they could continue a living, despite plans to demolish the building.
Traders have expressed fears of moving outdoors, but were sent the message: “Please work with us”.
Coun Rankin said: “I sent a letter to each market trader last Monday, explaining we are now moving things forward, we are now appointing an architect. They have known for two years the building is unsustainable. We are appointing an architect to work with the traders to take what is a fantastic structure and that’s the covered market.
“We are going to be spending a lot of money on that structure to make it a real feature in this city.”
Coun Rankin said he met with traders two years ago and said the authority was committed to the market, but had a “limited budget”.
He said: “We applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund earlier this year for a £10m scheme and that would have been fantastic. We got on the shortlist but unfortunately it wasn’t accepted. We don’t have the money to spend on a £10m scheme, we’ve got £5m available for the markets quarter.
“What I will say is, once we’ve done this scheme, if we have any further money available in the future we will direct it into the markets.
“Rather than sounding off about what might happen, we want our market traders to work with the architects we are going to appoint.”
He added: “Please, I’m saying to them, please talk to our architect, we really want to take you with us.”