Working together with Leeds City Council we have successfully rejuvenated and preserved the iconic Grade I listed Kirkgate Market. Action needed to be taken to address problems with the condition of the building and to secure its future commercial success as a modern vibrant market.
We renovated and reorganised the fresh produce stalls, built a new ‘blockshop’ to complete the market’s lost symmetry and formed a new contemporary events space and covered daily market. The new areas and restored heritage features have made a big visual impact. Works also included the renewal and replacement of services to bring the market up to date with modern standards, which are largely unseen.
The main challenges we faced were the regulations and restrictions which come with working on a Grade I listed building and the live city centre environment. The market, established in 1857, is one of the most important heritage buildings in Leeds. The whole complex of five interconnected halls is Grade I listed which meant extensive liaison with the Council conservation officer and Historic England to preserve the building’s more celebrated features alongside the requirements of 21st Century building regulations.
Home to 250 permanent indoor businesses, with around 150 more trading outside it was critical we maintained business as usual for the traders and nine million annual visitors. Logistics were meticulously planned with the market situated in the heart of the city, right next to the bus and national coach station, a multi-storey car park and the neighbouring Victoria Gate development.