Market traders asked to set out their stalls for the future

What will your new market look like? This is the question being asked of Chester’s Market traders as they are among the first to hear about the plans to build a new Market as part of the Chester Northgate project.

This is the first major development for the market in over 20 years. Not only are the plans being shared with the market traders but they will play a key role in the future designs to ensure everything is right for the scheduled 2019 opening.

The plans for the transformation of Chester’s Northgate include a brand new market centrally situated in a market square. The market will be below a new multiscreen cinema. Sitting alongside Storyhouse, Chester’s cultural centre that opens next year ‘just across the road’, Chester’s new market will be at the heart of the city’s new destination.

Now is also the time for the market traders to decide if they want a stall in the new market, they have been invited to apply for space in the new market; all of the successful traders will then also be invited to help with the designs of the building.

Said Councillor Brian Clarke, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure: “Markets have played a vital role in the high street for many years and Chester is no exception, there has been a traditional market in the city since the 12th century.

“We are pleased to welcome market experts WMC Retail Partners to help the design process. They bring over 800 years’ experience in managing markets. WMC know how markets work and will help us create how the market of tomorrow will look.”

Added Councillor Stuart Parker, Shadow Cabinet Member, Communities and Wellbeing: “With the help of the traders the new Chester Market will be an exciting shopping experience benefiting from better visibility, increased access and upgraded front and back of house facilities and a new identity.”

The new market will offer a strong food offer based on fresh produce and hot cooked food. In addition the aim is to create a mix of good quality non-food traders, services, themed events and regular speciality markets.

The market will include a fresh food offer to rival supermarkets; a catering offer that is different to the High Street; niche products or merchandise not usually found in High Street retailers; and high quality goods/professional services that will appeal to a broad range of shoppers.

The new Chester Market will be a bright and welcoming public market place, open to all. From early morning until late in the evening, it will be a place to meet friends and family, to browse, to shop or simply watch the world go by. It will offer the best of local and regional food and drink, from passionate, knowledgeable market traders who care about their customers. Chester Market will be at the core of the Northgate Masterplan and a ‘must see’ destination in its own right.

The plans for the Chester Northgate can be seen online on the Council’s website. Comments are welcome during the summer before the plans are presented to the Planning Committee in September.