Latest News | 19 April 2023

Work begins on next phase of multi-million-pound Market Hall revamp

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Work has started on the second phase of a multi-million-pound project to breathe new life into Derby’s historic Market Hall.

Following the restoration of the Grade II-listed building’s roof, Wates Group, which is leading the refurbishment, is now turning its attention to making internal and external improvements.

Once completed, the revamped Market Hall aims to become a vibrant retail and leisure destination, providing a link between the Derbion shopping centre and the St Peter’s Quarter and Cathedral Quarter areas, as well as the Becketwell regeneration scheme.

Wates is working in collaboration with Derby City Council on the project, supported by specialists, including Lathams Architects and structural engineers Rodgers Leask.

Lisa Cunningham, pre-construction director at Wates, said: “The Market Hall will play a vital role in creating a thriving cultural heart in Derby and we’re pleased to support this project to restore and transform such a unique building.

“With the roof restoration completed, this next phase will begin to show substantial improvements to the interiors and strengthen the exteriors to ensure the building has a long life.”

An important part of the next phase of work is to develop the public space at Osnabruck Square, a key entrance to the Victorian building, as well as reinstating the north entrance.

Lisa said: “This next phase will see further external work, including re-instating the two original northern entrances to the Market Hall, which will replace the current single entrance and allow a direct line of sight through the Guildhall colonnade.

“As well as making the building more inviting and accessible, this will also avoid any potential bottlenecks from increased footfall.

“Elsewhere on the building exterior, we will work to widen external escape doors, strip and renew the metal roof to its 1980s extension and replace the brickwork to the southern elevation arrangement with fully glazed window openings to create an active frontage with greater visibility.”

According to Wates, the Guildhall Yard will also be enhanced, with the entire courtyard re-paved following the demolition of an existing 1980s stair and lift tower.

Internally, works will focus on a new flexible market hall space, featuring free-standing mobile stalls to create an accessible space for events and activities such as food and music festivals.

To accommodate the food and drink offer, the balcony will have a bottle bar and an emphasis will be placed on street food but with the flexibility to adapt to future trends.

Further work in this phase includes refurbishments made to the first-floor shops, new durable flooring, improved back-of-house storage, improvements to fire safety, and new toilet facilities.

A key feature will be a new grand central staircase to the north of the Market Hall, replacing an existing stairwell.

Lisa said: “This grand staircase will reflect the position and form of the original 1864 stair, connecting to the balcony in a contemporary, light and inviting route.

“It will feature a glass balustrade designed to contrast with, yet complement, the historic metal balustrade across the balcony.”

The designs also include sustainable focused upgrades such as on-site energy generation through solar thermal and PV panels, battery storage, combined heat and power, and disposal of food waste through anaerobic digestion.

The second phase of development is set to complete at the end of 2024.

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