Thursday, 12 January 2012

Market findings report to be published

A report that was commissioned to look at every aspect of securing the long-term future for Kirkgate Market will be published today (Thursday 12 January).

Leeds City Council commissioned market specialists, Quarterbridge Project Management Ltd to undertake research into how to make the most of the market space, and continue to keep it thriving as a busy city centre shopping hub.

The report covers a number of recommendations for the market, and the council will be reviewing these ideas, but at this point it has made no decisions.

The specialists were asked to advise on the optimum size of the market, as well as the potential for securing significant investment for its renovation, possibly through partnership, with the council retaining ownership of the market. The council will continue to play a leading role in the management of the market.

The main points of the report are:

• that the overall optimum size for the market is 52,000ft, a reduction of 25%;
• that there are a number of different management models for the market including a Limited Liability Partnership;
• that significant investment is required to meet the needs and expectations of tenants and customers. In particular this would include the redevelopment of the 1970and 80s extensions at the rear of the market; and
• that there is initial interest from potential external investors in investing in the market to help secure its long term future.

Councillor Gerry Harper, Leeds City Council markets champion, said:

“We welcome the report as another step forward in securing the long-term future of the market.

“We want to make clear that this report was undertaken by external market specialists, and at this point we are still reviewing the findings before we move forward with putting anything in place.

“We have not made any final decisions yet but we want to ensure that the traders and the public are informed of the progress we’re making, and we want them to be involved in helping to inform our future ideas before we progress with any significant investment in the market.

“The traders within the market are essential to its future success, so we want to make sure that they know the outcome of the report and give them the opportunity to have their say.”

It is planned that the report will be discussed at the Council’s Executive Board on 10th February.

Anyone who would like to make a comment about the report should respond to or visit the facebook page at Leeds Markets or tweet @leedsmarkets. We will be able to take comments up until the day before the February executive board, where we will be able to feed the comments back.

To view the report please visit Leeds Markets website