Pictures show demolition of Leicester Market nearing completion

The Leicester Market demolition is nearing completion (10.04.24)
The Leicester Market demolition is nearing completion (10.04.24) -Credit:LeicestershireLive


The demolition of Leicester Market is nearing completion. The old market structure has been almost completely torn down with Leicester City Council saying this first phase of work, which started last month, is “on track to be completed shortly”.

The 1990s roof of the city’s fruit and vegetable market has now been removed and the old wooden stalls destroyed. Just a small section of the old structure remains.

The demolition comes as part of a multi-million pound project intended to transform the space into one “fit for the 21st Century”. The market itself is still operating, the stalls having moved temporarily to Green Dragon Square, on the other side of The Corn Exchange.

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The new-look market which will be created in the square will be split into three zones. Zone A, on the side next to the old fish market, will host a new café, planting and public art, and will have space for temporary stalls for one-off events such as farmers markets and a Christmas market. Zone B, at the heart of the space, will be the new covered market.

In place of the old wooden structures, 84 “smart new stalls” will be installed, which Leicester City Council said would create “an attractive environment for the fruit and vegetable traders and other small businesses”. The stalls will be set out in an "improved" layout to create better pedestrian routes through the market, the authority added.

The new roofed area will be smaller than the old, which will “open up views” of the historic Corn Exchange building. The perimeter is set to be shuttered to help reduce anti-social behaviour in the area, the council said.

Just a small section of the old market remains standing (10.04.24)
Just a small section of the old market remains standing (10.04.24) -Credit:LeicestershireLive

There will also be a selection of “attractive, flexible and lockable units” installed in front of the existing meat and fish market in what will be Zone C. This will have 16 new “high quality and unique” lockable “pods” for traders, the plan shows.

These are designed to “allow a range of different uses to come in and fit out the spaces flexibly to allow for a varied and interesting offer of traders” and can be “traded from internally or opened up to allow external trading as desired”.

Under the plan, the Duke of Rutland statue will also be moved to a new home. The statue, which was located in front of the Corn Exchange, was removed on Wednesday, April 10.

Leicester's Duke of Rutland statue has been removed for cleaning ahead of its relocation to Cheapside
Leicester's Duke of Rutland statue has been removed for cleaning ahead of its relocation to Cheapside -Credit:Leicester City Council

The council has said it will be taken away for a “good clean” before being relocated to where it was originally installed in Cheapside in the 1800s. The statue is to be sited next to 46 Market Place.

The city council said that once the demolition was complete, it would carry out underground investigations to determine if there would be any “obstructions” to the work going forward. Until this is complete, the authority said, it could not confirm the timeline for opening the new market. However, it said it still expected the main work to take around 10 months.

Mike Dalzell, the city council's director of tourism, culture and inward investment, said: "The demolition of the old market is going well and is on track to complete shortly. Now the structure has gone, we're beginning to break the surface and start the underground investigations. This critical stage will confirm what's in the ground and identify any obstructions.

"Infrastructure for the new market's power supply will also need to be installed. Once these key stages have been completed, a timescale for the works will be confirmed. Our aim remains to complete the revamp of Leicester Market as quickly as possible, with the main works expected to take around 10 months."