Plans to reconfigure and refurbish an indoor market in the Moorlands are set to be re-evaluated by a council. We reported in March that Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) had unveiled plans to spend in the region of £435,000 for a project in the Trestle Market in Leek which would see: “The improved facilities will support the establishment of permanent units for retail, food and beverage uses.”
Plans to reconfigure and refurbish an indoor market in the Moorlands are set to be re-evaluated by a council.
We reported in March that Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) had unveiled plans to spend in the region of £435,000 for a project in the Trestle Market in Leek which would see: “The improved facilities will support the establishment of permanent units for retail, food and beverage uses.”
Those plans, which had been set out by the then leader of SMDC councillor Sybil Ralphs, met much objection from traders, shoppers and other users of the much-loved indoor markets in Leek.
Cllr Ralphs said, at that time, that the organisers of the annual Scooterfest could not use the Trestle Market – which she had unofficially renamed Leek Market Hall – for part of their event in May which brings in thousands of visitors to the Moorlands town.
However, following a change in leadership at SMDC, when cllr Ralphs was voted off the leading role and replaced by councillor Paul Roberts, the council then made a u-turn in allowing the Scooterfest to use the Trestle Market for stalls at their popular event.
Now, the new leader of SMDC, cllr Roberts, has further revealed that the council has committed to re-evaluate the plans for the Trestle Market.
A spokesman for the council said: “Following last months announcement of a new leader and cabinet at SMDC, it has been confirmed that the planned refurbishment of Leek’s Trestle Market is to be reviewed.
“As was evident at this year’s Scooterfest, the new administration believe that it is important for the Trestle Market to be available as a multi-use space in Leek.
“Therefore, before any significant sums of money are spent, the Cabinet intend to re-evaluate the project as a whole based on; value for money, necessity and long term investment in the building and its use for the town.”
Cllr Roberts said: “We believe that before investment is made of the size suggested by the previous administration, further consultation is needed.
“To ensure that we are not forcing through changes that aren’t welcomed by everyone who uses the building, we will be consulting as many stakeholders as possible, including traders, the town council events committee, and councillors from across the Chamber.
“We also have to be aware that the building will need long-term maintenance and may require improvements to access, fire safety and other structural changes that enhance it’s current usage.
“We intend to make the investment in the building, but by bringing everyone along with us to secure a bright future for the fantastic space and for the people of Leek.”
Cllr Roberts added: “I can also confirm that the market will remain named as ‘The Trestle Market’ instead of Leek Market Hall.”
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