Leader’s pledge to traders
It seems there are many rumours about the future of the market, so I thought it would be helpful to clearly set out the current position for readers.
The council is committed to the future of the market in Preston. Preston’s heritage is as a “market town” and we strongly believe the market provides an important service to the people of Preston. The market hall may be doomed but the market most certainly isn’t.
On December 17 2012, the council agreed to the future closure and demolition of the Market Hall and car park. There is nothing new here. The issue of closure and the reasons were fully discussed with traders at the time. Basically the building has reached the end of its life and is beyond economic repair.
In 2013, the council appointed consultants Quarter Bridge to assess the potential and future options for the market. We shared the outcome of this report with market traders: that the market has a bright future but it needs to be re-modelled, bringing together the best elements of the indoor and outdoor market.
At the end of 2013, the council applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £5m lottery grant (in addition to the £5m the council had available) to refurbish and regenerate the outdoor market (the 1875 Victorian canopy). This included the consolidation of both the indoor and outdoor market – in line with what had been suggested in the Quarter Bridge report.
In March 2014, we were notified by the lottery fund that the bid was unsuccessful. We have since been evaluating the options for moving forward.
Given the council’s commitment to the market, we want to press ahead with a scheme for the regeneration of the market based around using the Victorian 1875 market canopy using the £5m we have available.
We are now in the process of appointing an architect to develop ideas and concepts and take forward proposals for the future of the market. Once the architect is appointed, an early priority will be to consult with market traders to discuss their needs in order to come forward with a suitable scheme within the budget available.
The council has previously stated its intention is to have a cinema development on the site of the current Indoor Market and car park (once demolished). There were even artist impressions published in the Evening Post of a cinema development about 18 months ago.
A cinema development, with associated food outlets, remains our intention, since, as the recent stories in the Evening Post have shown, we need to make the city centre more attractive for evening visitors, but obviously we first need to come forward with a scheme for the market. This is exactly what we are doing now with the appointment of the architect.
I understand market traders are concerned about the future of the market and what the future may hold. We don’t yet have the answers to the questions traders rightly want to know about the future scheme, because we don’t yet have the scheme!
If, at the end of the day, some of the traders want to walk away from the opportunities of a new market, it will be a great shame but that is up to them.
And of course, all Indoor Market traders will be entitled to compensation, whether they move to the new market to not.
Coun Peter Rankin, leader,Preston Council
Create a new indoor market
Many market traders choose to operate indoors to avoid the worst of the winter elements (LEP August 20).
With all of the empty units around Preston could a smaller indoor market like the refurbished one in Southport not be created to cater for those businesses.
M Roberts, Fulwood
Stores not to blame for louts
Regarding the letter from Mr Watson (letters August 23).
I cannot believe you are suggesting supermarkets should receive hefty fines because their trollies are dumped.
These trollies are provided for the convenience of the customer and should be used appropriately and returned to their place.
They were never intended for customers to take their shopping home in and them discard them wherever they feel like.
It is not the supermarkets fault that yobs think it’s a great activity to help themselves and then throw them in a river.
Most supermarkets have tried to address this problem by chaining the trollies together and you insert a pound coin to release it. Think again Mr Watson, it’s the public who need fining and educating and no, I’m not a supermarket employee.
Jean Thompson, address supplied
Leaders’ clichés are an insult
I am 60 years old and I find it utterly insulting to the memory of my grandparents that the likes of Cameron are being asked their opinions on the First World War.
I’ve heard the “lessons to be learned” cliche no less than about 11 times so far on TV this morning: it’s an insult to resort to such now meaningless cliches. I’m waiting for the inevitable “there are no words” at some point. Cameron and his ilk have never seen service but are happy to send young men and women to their deaths in pointless episodes like Afghanistan and Iraq. If I see Blair’s face on the screen I may well put my boot through the TV screen. Such hypocrisy.
Let’s not forget either that Cameron’s class formed the upper echelons of the military and whose decisions were often highly contributory to the level of deaths of working class young people.
Even now, talking on BBC1, he’s making political gain from some of his comments mentioning what his government is doing after criticising Ed Miliband for trying to make political gain about Gaza and Israel.
We should not forget either his childish exultation over those countries he thinks he has played a major part in liberating.
Keep these politicians and manipulators out of the commemorations. None of them have anywhere near the integrity of the “ordinary” people in this country who will be remembering their ancestors.
Name and address supplied