Work is starting on Monday on a major project to transform Preston’s markets.
Experts are being brought in to examine the metal columns of the historic Fish Market, ahead of its full refurbishment.
Council bosses have also announced plans to make a “significant” additional investment into the Markets Quarter.
The restoration of the grade II listed Fish Market canopy forms the first phase of the markets project, which includes a vision for a “game-changing” cinema development.
Coun Peter Rankin, leader of Preston Council, said: “This is the very start of our multi-million pound investment into Preston’s Markets Quarter.
“Firstly, we will fully restore the Fish Market canopy. It is a wonderful structure dating from mid 1920s and it is very much a Preston landmark.
“We have to treat the Fish Market with care. It is a listed building and we have to fully explore the condition of the metal working.
“This work is expected to last several weeks before we gear up to start on the restoration proper in the autumn.”
He said there would be some “minimal disruption” to trading, but said there was space to accommodate traders.
He said the council had “opened a dialogue” with traders, and said: “Following on from this consultation it is clear that we need to invest more money into the market to make sure we get it right for traders and also for Preston, which prides its self on a unique, thriving and vibrant market. This commitment to investing more into the markets does however present us with different challenges. For example, we now have to look again at the procurement of professional services supporting the project, such as architects, but it’s a nice challenge to have.”