THE transformation of Burton’s market hall will be the key to bringing people into the town centre, it has been claimed.
Councillor Robert Hardwick, who is responsible for the regeneration of the East Staffordshire Borough Council site, said he was confident the modernised building would bring people into Burton who may otherwise head to Derby or Birmingham for shopping and entertainment.
Work is now well under way on the revamp, which has been ongoing since July, and the hall is due to reopen in June. There will be fewer fixed stalls than previously, and ‘pop-up’ stalls will be put in place, which can be removed to create space for events and entertainment.
Councillor Hardwick, who today visited the construction site for the first time since it closed, told the Mail: “What a great space. I know there were a lot of people who wanted us to maintain it as it was, but this way, we have a building where we can maximise the use of space.
“I think once people see this place in action as a market, and see some other events, they will realise its value.
“If you look at the way Burton is going to grow, it’s perfect. We want people to come to our town centre, not Derby of Lichfield.”
More than a third of the stalls have now been let, with a further five businesses close to signing up. There has also been a lot of interest in the cafe and restaurant area.
Plans have now also been drawn up for an al-fresco dining area at the front of the hall, which will be flanked by greenery.
“It’s all very encouraging,” said the council’s Chris Ebberley.
Part of the floor is now in place, and some tiling has been completed, and the new extended balcony is taking shape.