The transformation of historic South Shields Market Place as a shopping venue ‘come rain or come shine’ is becoming a reality.
There have long been calls for the market to have a roof placed over it to enable shoppers and traders to avoid the elements.
Now, as part of the council’s South Shields 365 £100million ‘masterplan’, concrete foundations and the steelwork structure for a new fixed market canopy have been installed.
It is hoped the covering will mean market traders no longer having to pack up for the day when the weather becomes inclement.
Meanwhile, main contractor Bowmer and Kirkland has installed groundworks, including drainage and service ducting to feed the new lighting scheme.
“New kerbs have been formed to the new road configuration around the site and new paving, signage and street furniture are also being fitted.
A fabulous civic space is being createdCoun John Anglin
Landscaping works to the northern half of the market will be completed in early autumn while the southern end of the market will be finished early next year.
Future phases will reconnect the Market Place with St Hilda’s Church.
Councillor John Anglin, the council’s lead member for regeneration and economy, said: “We have worked with market traders to create a fabulous civic space which will be the focus for events and activities throughout the year. The works will also give us the opportunity to grow the market and attract additional visitors and types of market, building on the success of the craft fairs held elsewhere in the borough.”
He added: “The improvements to the Market Place will drive footfall into the town centre and King Street, which will benefit new and existing businesses.
“South Shields has a long and proud tradition of market trading dating back more than 200 years and the market place is central to the town’s unique offer.”