What's happening with Great Yarmouth's £4.7m market revamp?

Sheila, Carl and new market.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council have said they expect to see the new market building full once the £4.7m revamp has completed. - Credit: Archant

The leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council has said he expects the town's new market will be full once its £4.7m revamp is complete.

On Wednesday, Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC) confirmed seventeen existing stalls on Great Yarmouth Market Place will be moving into the new market building, which began construction in 2021.

A redevelopment of Great Yarmouth's historic Market Place is a key part of the borough council's vis

A redevelopment of Great Yarmouth's historic Market Place is a key part of the borough council's vision to regenerate the town centre Picture: GYBC - Credit: Archant

The council said it had also received expressions of interest from 25 other businesses for the hub which will open this spring.

GYBC leader, Carl Smith, said: "It is good, positive news for people coming with us.

"The market should be full by the time it is finished and it will help revitalise the town centre."

The council also announced traders moving into the new market building will be able to trade for free during March and April.

Councillor Carl Smith, deputy leader of Great Yarmouth Borogh Council. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council. - Credit: Archant

In December, stallholders were given a two-month rent-free period to support businesses affected by supply issues which delayed construction of the new build.

Traders will be able to move into their new stalls from mid-April to allow shoppers to enjoy the market without extra disruption over Easter.

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Sheila Oxtoby, chief executive of GYBC, thanked the traders who have decided to stay on the market.

"There has been some short term pain for high gain," Ms Oxtoby said.

"Once the traders get to see the new build, they will see it really has the wow factor."

Sheila Oxtoby

Sheila Oxtoby - Credit: Archant

Ms Oxtoby confirmed that once completed, the marketplace will have an emphasis on a "whole range of different food", but some retail outlets will also be available.

She said: "It looks like there will be a really exciting range which will add value to the market."

The new covered market will have 26 main stalls of different sizes, alongside two kiosks and spaces for pop-up traders.

Jane Beck, GYBC's head of property and asset management, said the council is "looking for diversity" and said the different sized stalls on offer would help achieve that.

New vision for Great Yarmouth Market

An image of the new covered market coming to Great Yarmouth town centre which was released in January 2020 - Credit: GYBC

The design also allows for covered seating for customers using food and drink stalls.

The council dismissed rumours that some of the existing stalls would be curtailed from the new market.

The new market will also contain well-insulated stalls to regulate temperature and all light fittings will be low-energy LED lights helping it to be energy efficient.

In October 2021, some issues with the supply chain - brought about by the pandemic - slowed down the original timescale for the development.

Mr Smith said if everything goes to plan, existing traders should be able to begin moving their equipment into the new build by the end of March before moving in fully a month later.

The demolition of the old market is expected to get underway at the beginning of May.

Ms Oxtoby confirmed the project is currently in line with its budget, but noted the council "holds a level of contingency".

The majority of existing traders - including stalls selling fruit and veg, key and shoe repairs and some chip stalls - are moving to the new buildings in a phased process.

And Mr Smith said pop-up stalls will offer new businesses a chance to trial the use of the market before fully committing to a lease and will provide shoppers with more variety.

"This will compliment our learning centre," said Mr Smith.

"With students around, it's going to be really exciting."

End of an era as pie and pea stall quits Yarmouth Market

John and Gary Salmon have revealed their last trading day on Great Yarmouth market will be February 26, 2022. Their family have been selling pies and peas from the same spot since 1946. - Credit: Liz Coates

The project has received some criticism from some existing and past stallholders, including Barrie's Tea Stall and H Blake Family Butchers which ceased trading on Christmas Eve.

On Wednesday, Gary Salmon from the Pie and Peas stall confirmed he would not be moving into the new building.

Mr Salmon said a combination of his age, the prospect of signing new leases and investing in new equipment had led to his decision.

The council have asked departing stallholders to finish trading by the end of February to allow progress with the next phase of construction and time to advertise any vacant stalls.

Formal applications for new traders to open on the revamped market will open shortly.