Mayor of Preston councillor Brian Rollo cut the red ribbon to open Preston’s new Market Hall to the sound of drum roll.
Coun Peter Rankin, leader of Preston City Council, was also able to make the ceremony on Saturday, March 10 despite undergoing cancer treatment.
Announcing the Market Hall officially open to crowds he said: “In 2011 we made the decision to demolish the old building and look at what we have got.
“It’s great to be here. I well remember meeting the traders for the first time. I have to say over the years I have got to know them.
“We desperately want to build up their businesses.”
Following the launch when asked about initial teething problems to do with the lack of heating in the Market Hall coun Rankin said: “Two weeks ago the weather was bitterly cold, minus five, I was very sympathetic.”
Meanwhile coun Rollo told the Post that he was encouraged that the Market Hall was attracting young people.
“It’s wonderful and there’s really good food here,” he said. “I now know where the best Cumberland sausages are but I’m not going to tell exactly where, people will have to come down and try them all.
“It’s a big advantage to have it right in the path from the bus station through to St George’s Shopping Centre.”
“It’s looking like it will be a success.”
Alongside the ceremony and celebrating the opening, there was live entertainment including a Chinese Dragon, dancers and a popular female vocalist performing.
John Crellin, head of city development at Preston City Council, said: “It’s been a long time in the making.
“We think we have really created a destination in Preston. We want people to love the city centre.”
Pam McGrath, 81, from Goosnargh is the great granddaughter of Benjamin Sykes, the man who built the original structure for the market.
Speaking of the new Market Hall she said: “This is a fantastic structure. It’s been restored beautifully and the detail has been kept.
“We have to preserve what we’ve got from what is left from the Victorians.”
Sarah Carter, a 34-year-old support worker, said: “I’m a proud Prestonian and I think they are working hard for the market and although they have had a few problems with the cold I think they’ve sorted it out now.”