The redevelopment of Darlington's iconic Indoor Market building to transform it into a venue fit for the 21st Century is now underway.
The construction programme will be phased over the next year or so, including a refurbishment of the roof, creation of a new street food scene zone with communal seating and a stage for live events, new entrances, the addition of public toilets, an eco-friendly biomass boiler and the refurbishment of the rest of the market building.
There will also be a new impressive, fully-glazed temperate garden with restaurants and bars within the vaulted basement.
Wherever possible local contractors have been used to deliver the work and Wharton Construction Ltd; a Darlington firm will start phase 1 works in January 2021.
Raymond Linch, managing director of Market Asset Management, who operate the market and who are investing nearly £2m in its redevelopment said: "We are thrilled to get the project underway and we are very excited about the new offers we are developing to match the needs of all the people in Darlington and beyond.
"We are focused on developing a wonderfully strong retail offer and a family-based entertainment and dining venue, bringing much wanted evening footfall to the town-centre.”
Councillor Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: "It is an exciting moment that work to regenerate the Indoor Market is finally underway and we look forward to seeing the transformation.
"The plans for the market building have been well received and will make it a true attraction for everyone in Darlington and beyond, creating space for new additions to our night time economy, while retaining the all important market atmosphere.
"Given the challenges of 2020 it!s wonderful to know that a project of this stature is underway to give us something to look forward to as we move into 2021.”