Business as usual
A start on the work was initially anticipated before the end of the summer but as it is a lucrative time for traders, the work was arranged to begin in September. Closing the market during the projected 8 - 10 week period the renovation was expected to take, was also ruled out - as it could seriously disrupt the trader’s businesses. The challenge was to keep the market open for traders and yet safe for customers. This was achieved by phasing the work over a longer period and hoarding off the works, leaving safe access to the shops, with increased signage and bridge scaffolds over the openings.
Part of the plan was to demolish some of the shops and existing external freestanding stalls at the back of the market, which had frequently attracted vandalism and anti-social behaviour, causing concern to residents. This meant the isolation and removal of water and electricity supplies - and an unexpected asbestos find within the condemned buildings, before demolition could take place.
Shops that were to be refurbished had their roof structures sitting on existing timber windows and doors, which were to be replaced with aluminium. Therefore lintels, beams and some columns had to be provided and fitted. The fact that the roof had to be strapped down to the new structure, also complicated the issue.
A rising market
A treated timber framework had to be manufactured millimetre perfect, including surrounding the roller shutters to take the aluminium fascias, soffits and rainwater goods.
Market traders now benefit from new welfare facilities, windows, doors, a full electrical rewire, new energy-efficient lighting, and new replacement shutters to the shop fronts.
Outside, resurfaced paved areas and new benching has been added to give shoppers a seating area, where they can take a break from their shopping or sit and chat with friends or family.
Coun Lynn Masterman, Deputy Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economic Growth and Property, said: “We recognise how important markets are to local communities and the role they play in nurturing new entrepreneurs.
Markets are a terrific way to try out a new business and we are here to support those who have an idea and want a low-cost way of opening it.”
Coun Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “It is fantastic to see Normanton get a much-needed makeover. I would encourage everyone to come along, take a look and enjoy.”