Northampton Market is set to be relocated to the Commercial Street car park at the corner of Horseshoe Street and St Peter’s Way while Market Square is redeveloped.
The move will enable the whole market to be kept together, allowing work on Market Square to proceed without significant delay.
“We know many of the traders would have preferred to stay on Market Square while the redevelopment takes place, but this would cause significant delays and additional costs.Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth
“We worked through several different options including possible relocation to parts of Abington Street, and we even looked at an empty unit in the Grosvenor centre as a possibility.
“All of the other options would have meant splitting the market up to some degree which would have reduced the potential footfall to each separate area.
“Situating the whole market at Commercial Street car park will increase its visibility as it will be located at a very busy road junction. It will also allow people direct access via car.
“We will do everything we can to minimise disruption for traders during the Market Square work and we will help promote the new location as widely as we can.”
Other options fully explored included:
- Keeping some traders on Market Square and using Wood Hill to accommodate some hot food concessions due to capacity and hygiene issues. Issues identified included increased construction traffic, noise and dust due to the redevelopment work, and difficulty with gradual relocation around the square as work took place.
- Moving stalls to the lower and central parts of Abington Street and Wood Hill. It was not viable due to planned improvements in Abington Street and Fish Street which is scheduled to take place alongside the Market Square work, plus potential delays while nearby businesses were consulted with.
- Relocation to an empty unit at the Grosvenor centre and using Wood Hill to accommodate some hot food stalls due to limited capacity. It would have involved splitting elements of the market and fresh produce traders had raised significant concerns around this.
A longer list of locations was initially considered including.
- The former Greyfriars bus station site, which is being used as a site compound for a nearby housing development
- Albion Place Car Park near the Royal & Derngate which was too small and enclosed
- Upper Mounts car park which was too isolated from other retail
- On the green outside the North Gate Bus Station or the Piazza outside All Saints Church which were too small
- Market Walk which is not within the council’s control, plus fresh produce traders were not keen on being indoors, and it would have been necessary to use Wood Hill for hot food stalls
- Becket’s Park which does not have a suitable surface and would be too far from other retail
Preparations will include ensuring adequate power and water are available for traders that need them. The planned relocation is expected to happen by August 2022.
When works complete in early 2024, the improved Market Square will see a new linear water feature inspired by the town’s shoe heritage, a condensed improved market including new permanent and temporary market stalls, an improved events space, new hard surfacing, lighting, CCTV, and new tree planting.
For more information on the engagement that has taken place to date and to view the design of the new Market Square (option 3), visit the Regeneration pages of West Northampton Council's website.