Work to begin on Preston Market Hall after complaints from traders about freezing draughts

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Traders in the Market Hall will be feeling a bit warmer this winter after work is completed on a new "buffer zone" at its Market Street entrance.

The market has been plagued by cold gusts of wind blowing through the hall since it reopened in 2016 and has even earned it the nickname "the ice cube".

Traders close to the entrance have complained that the automatic doors are continuously in use during peak hours, exposing them to a constant blast of cold air.

To shield them and their customers from the cold, Preston City Council have agreed to build a new porch on the breezy western side of the market, opposite the top of Orchard Street.

Jonathan Strand, who works on a cooked meat stall, said: “It’s really draughty. But I’m not sure all the draughts come from the doors because we’re exposed at the top as well.

“Earlier this year we got snow blowing over the top and coming into the market hall. When the bottom doors and top doors are both open at the same time we get a blast of cold air right through the place.

An artist's impression of the solution to Preston's chilly market hall

An artist's impression of the solution to Preston's chilly market hall

“The whole building is cold because there is no top on it, but the draughts certainly don’t help. One porch sounds to me like they are clutching at straws and trying to do it on the cheap."

Work will begin next Monday (November 19) on a new buffer zone in the form of a porch, scheduled for completion on Monday December 10.

A planning statement lodged as part of the application, says: “This proposal aims to mitigate the present issue of draught inside the market hall building which is felt by both stallholders and the public and which is caused by the prevailing wind coming through the existing single set of doors.

“The entrance lobby, as proposed, with two sets of glazed sliding doors, will lessen the effect of through draught and deliver a better internal environment for all.”

The Council admitted that it needed to sort out the problem with winds whistling through the Market as a matter of urgency, in order to “improve the useability” of the building for everyone inside.

Councillor Brian Rollo, cabinet member for environment, said: "As the new market has experienced extremely busy footfall with shoppers visiting throughout the day, the automatic doors at the Starch House Square entrance are almost continuously open, creating air flow in the Market Hall when the wind blows from that direction.

"This porch will create a much needed windbreak and improve the experience for customers and traders alike.

"The market is continually growing in popularity and, as Christmas approaches, will naturally become even busier. We ask customers to continue to support our traders and choose to buy local whenever possible.

"We are proud that the Market Hall has already received awards and commendations for its design, and these additional works shows the council’s commitment to have the best market in the region."

The Market Hall will remain open as usual, and shoppers will still be able to enter from Starch House Square as well as at the other entrances on Earl Street and those facing Lancaster Road.