A £2 million plan to modernise Liverpool’s St John’s Market is being unveiled to traders and shoppers.
The plans are going on display in the market on Thursday 20 March so that traders, shoppers and potential shoppers can have their say as consultation over the proposals start.
The move to modernise the market comes after traders complained that footfall was declining. A separate programme of works has already started on improving the roof and lighting and will be complete by Easter.
The new proposals, which would be funded through the council’s capital programme, will see a modernised entrance on Elliot Street with the approach to the market being opened up and improved signage making the market more visible and welcoming visitors into it.
Stalls selling similar goods will be grouped together – having sections for food, clothes, hardware and so on, similar to department stores’ layouts.
The plans include an increase in the number of traders operating from the market. Currently there are 120 traders and it is envisaged that this will increase to 140.
To help current businesses keep their regular customers, it is proposed that the market would continue to trade throughout the course of the work with market stalls being relocated to other areas of the market as the work progresses.
Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “St John’s Market has being looking tired and dated. It still has the feel of the1970s when it was opened and is very much in need of modernisation to attract present day shoppers.
“The market traders have been telling us that footfall has been declining and investment is needed to halt that decline. Even though there are enormous financial pressures on the council we have still been prepared to find capital funding for this work.
“Our proposals will see the market transformed into a much more up-to-date, brighter and more airy environment in keeping with current shopping trends.
“We also want to make it more attractive from its outside. Currently people can walk past its entrance in Elliot Street without realising they are outside a market. We believe the new entrance and signage will attract many more shoppers.
“And, we are proposing that the market will stay open for business throughout the whole of the building work so that stallholders can carry on trading.
“But I want to stress that at this stage these are only proposals – we want to hear the views of the traders and shoppers alike. It is very much the start of a genuine consultation. The intention is to start work by the end of the year depending on the outcome of the consultation.”