BURTON market hall is, quite literally, a shell of its former self.
There are no stalls and no customers – just an awful lot of construction work.
Just a few months remain until the £1.6 million refurbishment is complete on the historic building, and though there is still a long way to go, the re-vamped space is beginning to take shape.
“The main difference will be the aesthetics,” said Sal Khan, head of service commissioning at East Staffordshire Borough Council.
“It will look modern and refreshed. It’s going to look like a completely different market hall.”
It is clear to see the changes which are taking place.
Doors have been stripped so they can be repainted and brought up to scratch, traditional tiles have been exposed, and wrought iron can be seen at various points along the ceiling.
“What we are trying to do is go back to the original,” Mr Khan told the Mail.
“It’s a beautiful building with a lot of features. Without it looking old, we want it to look classy,” he added.
Rumour has it that the design of the hall was based on the old St Pancras Railway Station, and with the large traditional clock and refurbished recesses on the balcony, it is easy to see why.
The space on the first floor of the building will be taken up by one or two restaurants, the council has said. Talks are currently ongoing with local and regional companies to provide these services.
The balcony is to be extended further out than before, with the addition of a mezzanine floor.
This will be the biggest change, according to site manager Liam Whyte, who has been leading a team of roughly 25 workers a day to take on the work.
“It will move forward so it opens that area up,” he said, adding that everything was on track for completion in May.
The project is also proceeding on budget, Mr Khan said.
There will be 24 fixed units around the edge of the hall, with 17 ‘pop-up’ stalls in the middle, which can be moved around as needed – or even removed completely for entertainment events.
The revamped hall will also have its own toilets.
AS the time draws near to relaunch the Market Hall, East Staffordshire Borough Council is on the hunt for people to fill it.
Eight traders have signed up so far – just one of them a previous tenant – and the hunt is now on for more people to trade in the 24 fixed stalls and ‘pop-up’ units in the middle.
Councillor Liz Staples said: “The council has listened to comments and concerns raised by stallholders and outdoor market traders and taken on board a lot of their suggestions.
“My message to traders old and new is we are keen to discuss matters but, above all else, we want to see the Market Hall be as successful as possible.”
Anyone interested in taking a stall at the Market Hall when it reopens can call 01283 508772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.