Final touches are being put to Sheffield’s new £18 million market building as traders get ready to move in.
Just a week and a half remains until Sheffield’s markets scene is transformed with the opening of the new building on The Moor.
About 80 stalls trading at Castle Market will be replaced by 90 stalls and 12 cafés at the new site.
Work is well under way to fit out The Moor building.
Instead of the rundown 1960s interior of the current site, The Moor Market is bright and airy, with plenty of natural light.
Projectors will beam displays to promote different traders onto white walls above the stalls.
Andy Ward, Sheffield Council markets manager, said 65 of 80 traders at Castle Market are moving to The Moor, with the rest being new traders. Mark Holmes, aged 48, from Sothall, who runs Punch Stores bakery stall, said: “It’s two weeks of hard work moving across and there have been some sleepless nights.
“I am sad to see Castle Market go, because I have worked there for 27 years and met my wife Lisa working there, but the environment of the new market will be a lot better.”
However, Mr Holmes is worried about increased rent, which will go up from a discounted rate of £300 at Castle Market.
“Because my new stall covers three units, my costs will rise to £850 a week including £520 in rent plus VAT and warehousing costs,” he said.
“We’ll see how we manage - but the council has borrowed money to build the market which they have to pay back.”
But Mr Ward said: “The stall-holders have a generous lead-in with a six-month rent-free period during which they will only pay their service charge, and six months at half-rent.
“The full rents are the same as we charge at Crystal Peaks.”
He also moved to reassure people travelling to the market by bus.
Mr Ward said: “There are 28 bus routes which serve Castle Market and 26 of them also run past The Moor. The only ones which don’t are the 52 and 120.
“There are 15 more bus services to The Moor that currently don’t serve Castle Market, so that is a gain of 13 routes.”
Officials plan to review bus services several months after the market opens, to gauge whether changes may be needed to the 52 and 120 services.
Coun Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “The old market was in decline and this new building makes a dramatic statement.
“It is the best market building in Britain.”
Castle Market closes on Saturday, November 23, and the new Moor Market opens at 10am on Monday, November 25.
The building will then be open Mondays to Saturdays 8.30am to 5.30pm.