New food hall opens
22nd May 2014
Page last edited: 27th May 2014.
THE NEW food hall at Leicester’s historic market opens its doors tomorrow (Friday 23 May), providing a bright and airy environment for shoppers to buy meat, fish and other fresh produce.
Developed by Leicester City Council and designed by architects Greig & Stephenson, the contemporary glass, steel and timber building is lightly connected to the market’s 19th century Corn Exchange by a glazed roof.
Complementing the outdoor market that’s been at the heart of Leicester for more than 700 years, the food hall will sell fresh meat, fish, seafood, game and poultry, as well as artisan cheese, fresh bread, cooked meats, olives and other delicatessen produce.
“We all know that Leicester Market is one of the city’s treasures,” said City Mayor Peter Soulsby. “But I hope that the new food hall and the other improvements we’re making over the next 12 months will help it realise its huge potential – attracting both shoppers and visitors to the market, while encouraging the regeneration of the shops and buildings in the conservation area that surrounds it.”
Architects Greig & Stephenson – who specialise in market design – were asked to come up with a masterplan that would increase footfall through the market and improve its links to the city’s main shopping areas.
Their design for the new food hall features a stunning timber ceiling under a curved zinc roof – and a glazed façade that floods the building with natural light, while helping to connect the indoor activity with the outdoor market.
The 5,500sqft building will provide a new home for the eight traders re-locating from the 1970s indoor market hall that’s no longer fit for purpose.
Alison Ireland of Sherwin’s Cheese Company – which has been trading on the market since 1977 – said: “All the traders are really excited about the grand opening on Friday and we’re looking forward to welcoming customers – both old and new – to our new food hall.”
Joining Sherwin’s Cheese Company in the new food hall will be Andrew Sykes, Frank Lee and Son, Keith Ashmore, Trawlerman, Gibsons, Kotula & Son (Mroz Sausages) and Country Fayre.
Country Fayre’s Jade Pole – a third generation market trader – will join the City Mayor to cut the ribbon and open the food hall at 11am tomorrow (Friday).
Before then, music from the Wahoos will get the party started at 10.30am, with BBC Radio Leicester’s Jo Hayward overseeing the countdown to the grand opening.
Adam Piotrowski, the market’s development officer and resident chef, will be cooking up treats throughout the morning – including hot sausages, spicy ribs and sautéed prawns – with a selection of breads, cheeses and chutneys also available for tasting.
All eight traders have provided food for sampling that’s available from their stalls – and they’ve also come up with a number of money-saving deals to welcome shoppers to the new food hall.
Live lobsters and whole salmon will be available from Trawlerman for just £9.99, Andrew Sykes and Mroz Sausage are offering 10% off everything and Sherwin’s are cutting 20% off the price of traditional ham. All the other stalls are running special opening offers too, with many of the deals available until Sunday (25 May). Details are available from the LCC website.
Opening events will continue until 3pm, with performances from the Comedy Chefs and the Fairly Fresh Fish Company, who’ll bring their unique comedy puppet act to the Market Place.
Normal opening hours will be 9am to 5.30pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9am until 4.30pm on Saturdays. This Sunday (25 May), however, the food hall will be open as part of the market’s annual Summer Food and Drink Festival.
The opening of the new food hall marks the completion of the first phase of the council’s £9.2million redevelopment of Leicester Market. Phase two will get under way in the summer, with the demolition of the old indoor market and the creation, in its place, of a stunning new open space, framed by heritage buildings.
The main contractor for phase one was Kier Construction.
The plans for Leicester Market are part of the City Mayor’s Connecting Leicester project: a major programme of investment that’s creating better pedestrian links between the city’s historic areas and its modern retail core.
[Source: Leicester City Council]