Grainger Market Gears up for Multi-Million-Pound Facelift Following Roof Restoration Completion

After years of anticipation, Newcastle’s Grainger Market has finally completed the roof renovation project that has kept the beloved shopping destination shrouded in scaffolding for so long. But this is just the beginning, as Newcastle City Council has now confirmed that a £9m upgrade funded by the Levelling Up Fund will begin in autumn of this year.

Stallholders have suggested various improvements including a new food court, better toilets, improved marketing, and more robust security measures. Whatever the council decides, the work will need to be carried out quickly, with ministers setting a deadline of March 2024 for the spending of the grant funding, awarded in 2021.

The Grainger Market is a staple of the city centre, having opened its doors in 1835. The new upgrade work will be funded by £7m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund, and an additional £2m from the city council itself.

The roof renovation, which began in 2019, was delayed for 20 months by “hidden problems” that contractors Esh Build discovered at the site. The issues were eventually traced back to structural weaknesses in the building’s gable walls. Despite the delays, however, the council approved an extra £1.9m in 2021 to complete the project, taking its total cost to £5.15m.

Newcastle City Council spokesperson said that consultation with traders is ongoing and designs are progressing well, with traders heavily involved in the process. “A contractor will be brought on board in the autumn to start the work in the market,” they added.

The Grainger Market is not the only site to benefit from the Levelling Up Fund grant. More than £10m was also set aside for Old Eldon Square and Blackett Street, but both projects were dropped by the local authority after a power struggle that saw Nick Kemp take over as council leader in 2021. The council has yet to announce what this funding will be used for, but it is understood that ministers have set a deadline of March 2024 for the spending of these funds too.

Stallholders are optimistic about the future of the market. Pet Lamb Patisserie’s Kay Quickfall said, “The fact that the works are reaching the end now is really exciting because it has been a nightmare – but none of that matters now and it all looks lovely.” Gift shop owner Tian Tang hopes that the council will invest more in social media advertising to attract younger shoppers to the market, adding that “there are a lot of elderly people who come to the Grainger Market because it is part of their routine, but if we can attract more young people too that would be good.”


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