Preston Market Hall reveals new canopy design to protect traders and shoppers from freezing temperatures
Preston City Council has temporarily installed a prototype section of the proposed canopy, which is designed to improve conditions in the Market Hall when it is completed next year.
Made from steel frames and filled with clear plastic panels, the new canopy is designed to reduce draught which led to uncomfortable conditions for traders and shoppers last winter.
The Council said the new structure will sit above the internal walkways between stalls, and will preserve the traditional appearance of the original 1875 canopy.
The prototype is situated in the north west corner of the Market Hall, close to Brew + Bake cafe and Pickles of Preston.
The Council has not provided an estimated completion date, but said work on the new canopy is expected to begin soon.
It said timescales for the project are currently being planned with tenants.
Traders have complained of freezing temperatures in the multi-million pound facility since it reopened in February 2018.
The draughty glass building, which cost the Council £3million, has even been nicknamed "The Ice Cube” among stall holders.
Last year, the Council installed two sets of automatic sliding doors on the breezy western side of the market – opposite the top of Orchard Street – to block off the draughts.
Funding for the new canopy was agreed by Preston City Council on August 22, as part of a major capital investment scheme to improve conditions in the Market Hall.
Sam Livesey, chairman of the Traders Association at Preston Markets said: "This prototype is a good first step in the Council’s solution to the current conditions in the Market Hall.
"The traders will be working with the council to decide an installation plan that will cause the least disruption, while installing the new canopies as quickly as possible."
"Preston Markets is full of excellent products and we need Prestonians to support these local businesses and enjoy what Preston Markets has to offer especially over the upcoming festive period."