Work has begun this week on modernising Castleford and Pontefract markets.
They will be transformed by the Council to enhance their quality and look, to attract new traders and ensure they continue to play a significant role in bringing more shoppers to the town centres and contributing to our local economy.
Castleford and Pontefract are the latest to undergo renovations, as part of Wakefield Council’s commitment to fund improvements, totalling £6.47 million, at four local markets.
Normanton was the first to benefit and its fresh look was unveiled in March.
The market hall at Castleford will be made brighter and more modern. Plans include a new social space and additional seating, to encourage visitors to spend more time at the market.
New doors, lighting and signs will be installed, along with improvements to the entrances and roof. The planned works are expected to last for the rest of the year and be completed by January 2024.
Pontefract market’s revamp includes redecorating the walls and ceiling, heating repairs, replacement shutters, electrical upgrades, and window and door replacements. The contractors will be on site for the next four months and work is due to finish in early autumn. You will still be able to shop at the markets as they will remain open throughout this time.
Next year, refurbishment of the fourth and final market in the improvements programme, South Elmsall, will start.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “Our markets have been a part of our economy for a very long time, offering employment and opportunity for people to start and run their own business.
“This investment shows our commitment to securing their future for traders and residents. They play an important role in the lives of our communities, and we want to see more people visit our markets and experience all they have to offer.”
Wakefield Council are also giving budding entrepreneurs the chance to open a market stall for free.
If you are over the age of 18, have an idea for selling goods, a service or produce that is not currently available at one of the six outdoor markets in the district, you can apply.
This exciting opportunity to try out market trading on three occasions is available now, and new stallholders can trade during the fortnight of the Love Your Local Market (LYLM) campaign, which runs from Friday 12 May until Saturday 27 May.
Wakefield Council’s markets team will be on hand with advice and support and fees will be waived. Public liability insurance can also be provided.
Cllr Denise Jeffery added: “If anyone has considered opening their own business then this offer is the ideal way to test the market and decide if there is a future in it.
“It is important for us to invest in our traders, current and future ones, as without them we do not have thriving markets that serve the needs of our communities.
“Markets play a vital role in our regeneration plan, which aims to get more businesses to open here and make the district a dynamic place to live and work. We are working on creating more opportunities for people to shop locally and enjoy entertainment and cultural activities on their doorstep.”
There are currently 200 traders working in local markets, to apply to join them, either through this initiative or long-term, contact the markets team on 01977 727196 or email email@example.com.