Architects have been appointed and are currently working on different options to improve the appearance of the market and bring it up to date, making the most of its heritage features.
In a recent residents’ survey, 92 per cent of respondents said they thought it was important or very important to have a market in the city, but only 57 per cent were satisfied with the current market.
Antony Angus, Recreational Services Team Leader at City of Lincoln Council, said: “It’s good to see that people do feel markets have an important role to play in our city centre and there is obviously some work to do to improve what’s on offer.
“Our aim is to establish an attractive market offering a good range of high quality, fresh, and local products at affordable prices.
“There are currently two markets in the city centre but the Cornhill is set to close next March as Lincolnshire Co-op regenerates its properties in the area. This is an ideal opportunity for us to achieve our aim of creating one, really strong market.
“We are continuing to work closely with traders in both markets, who have generally been extremely supportive, to make sure we get this right. We have already started reconfiguring the layout of the Central Market to make it more welcoming and we’re exploring options for fruit and veg stalls, which is our priority.
“We’re looking at a few options, including outdoor stalls that will make the market more a part of City Square and hopefully make more shoppers aware of what’s here.”
Together with the co-op’s Cornhill Quarter scheme and Lincoln Transport Hub, it is hoped the redevelopment of the market will bring a new lease of life to the city centre.
Plans will be open for public consultation at a later date. Check www.lincoln.gov.uk/centralmarket for updates.
Eunice Porter, chairman of the local branch of the National Federation of Market Traders, said: “The market has been here for nearly 80 years and we need to do something to make sure it carries on trading for at least another 80 – hopefully more!
“There’s a lot going on in the city centre at the moment and it’ s a really exciting to be involved. In the meantime, we need people to keep supporting their local traders and remember the market is open for business, and is a great place to find affordable, local goods and friendly service.”
John Gillings, who has been selling fruit and vegetables in Lincoln for 45 years, said: “We’d really like to carry on trading and we’re hopeful we can find a way forward to sell from the central market. We’d like to remind people the Cornhill Market will still be open until at least the end of March.”