Preston’s £3m market transformation is on a firm footing after reaching another milestone.
Local contractors Conlon Construction poured 160 cubic metres of concrete into the foundations of the site as work continues at the covered market.
Huge steel columns were also delivered to the site this week and will be installed in the next two weeks, outlining the shape of the new market hall.
It’s the latest stage in the development which will eventually become a state-of-the-art market hall, cinema, and other attractions which council chiefs and planners hope will prove a magnet for daytime and night-time visitors.
A spokesman for Preston Council said: “A further stage of the market build was completed over the course of last week with approximately 160 cubic metres of concrete poured into steel cages located within the ground beams between the piles.
“The pouring of concrete into these cages has created sturdy ground beams which link the piles together.
“These elements have provided the foundations for the steel columns to be installed, which will form the skeleton of the building and be the supporting structure for the glazed curtain walling.
“Steel columns have started to arrive on site and will be installed over the next two weeks. It’s at this point the new market hall will begin to visibly take shape.”
The indoor market is still open, and traders from there can now apply for a move to the new covered indoor market.
Other outdoor traders have been moved to the nearby covered Fish Market, which will become a “box market,” where upgraded shipping containers will be provided for mainly non-food trading.
The current indoor market will eventually be flattened to make way for the cinema.
Councils chiefs and residents hope the new Markets Quarter when finished will revitalise the whole city centre,
Michael Conlon, chairman at Conlon Construction
“This project builds on Conlon’s experience and track record in the heritage sector, which has seen us deliver heritage schemes totalling £55 million over the past decade.
“It will also be a showpiece development for Preston, demonstrating how a market hall originally constructed in the late 1960s/early 70s can be brought into the 21st century to answer the needs of contemporary shoppers.
“We’re delighted with the progress we’re making on site and remain on track to complete the scheme in Winter 17/18.”