Work on on Preston’s new £3m markets project has moved onto the next phase.
Piling work at the covered market area was completed on Friday morning.
Now contractors Preston-based Conlon Construction are aiming for the next phase.
Chairman Michael Conlon said: “The piling work has now been completed.
“Now we move onto the drainage and foundations.
“It’s a key stage.”
Eventually the area will have 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.
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”.
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, with stalls and nearby resturants proving a big draw.
Mr Conlon also confirmed that the original cobbles unearthed during work on the market hall would be sold on as part of an agreement with the council.
The cobbles were slippery and unsuitable for modern use and therefore not needed.
The area will eventually have a safe textured surface in keeping with the rest of the city centre.
Work on the whole markets project is expected to finish by Christmas.