A long-awaited revamp of Doncaster’s outdoor market is finally set to begin.
The council will spend £900,000 upgrading about 70 stalls on Goose Hill, close to the Doncaster Star office, and those at the side of the corn exchange.
Project leaders are also considering putting a large canvas-style roof over the revamped outdoor market.
Numerous start dates had been earmarked but the council has now confirmed work will begin in April next year.
Bob Johnson, cabinet member for regeneration and growth, tourism, culture, leisure and veteran’s champion, said: “This work will improve the shopping experience and make life better for the stallholders themselves.
“It is a great investment and we hope to increase footfall into an already award-winning market.”
It is estimated the work will take about 12 months to complete.
This will be done in sections and traders will be asked to temporarily move locations to another part of the market as the project progresses.
New lighting will also be fitted to the outdoor stalls.
The authority has spent the last year considering a number of different options, some of which have not been popular with traders.
This included removing some stalls to create a drop-off point for shoppers, but this was scrapped following opposition from traders.
A proposal for more pop-up stalls was also rejected.
Trader Andrew Charlton, aged 43, who has been on the market for 22 years, said: “I am glad to hear that the scheme is looking to be moving forward.
“The stalls are bit shabby at the moment and need an upgrade. A new roof will also be nice.
“Trade is quiet. It remains to be seen whether or not this will boost business.”
Coun Johnson said: “We have had in depth discussions with traders and we have listened. They did not want a drop-off point so we threw it out. Likewise with the pop-stalls idea.
“These things take time to develop. We needed to make sure that we got it right.”
He added: “The indoor market and fruit stalls work well, so the main focus will be updating the outdoor stalls, which need improvement.
“The whole area will look more modern and brighter. There will be more room to walk between stalls and see everything the market has to offer.
“We are looking at what kinds of roofing we can use and will do what we can within the budget.”
He added most of the redevelopment would be finished in time for the 2014 Christmas shopping season.
Artists impressions of the new outdoor market are also due within the next few weeks.
The scheme will be paid for as part of a £1.37 million funding package from the central government’s Local Enterprise Growth Initiative fund.
There are also proposed improvements to markets in Mexborough and Rossington.