Watford Borough Council has agreed to spend more than two million pounds on moving Watford market from its current location in charter place to a purpose built two story proposition next to the former TJ Hughes building. It will have entrances from the High Street and Beechen Grove & will be open for business five days a week.
The market will be fully covered with a canopy roof to protect shoppers and traders from adverse weather & a lighting scheme and new signage will better define the market within the town. Town & Country Markets, the company that runs London markets such as Old Spitalfields and Shepherds Bush has been appointed to operate the new-look Watford Market. The company already operates 16 markets across the country.
There were six design options put forward by Urban Space Management, the company appointed as a design consultant & the prospective designs are based on a “modular” layout, made of shipping containers. The Shoreditch-based Boxpark which was opened in 2011 & is constructed of stripped and refitted shipping containers was a particular inspiration.
The ground floor will include stalls selling fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish, with the upper floor providing a food court selling hot food and drink. In all, more than 40 permanent market trading spaces will be created on the 1,620 square metre site.
Watford’s market is steeped in history with the earliest markets dating back to the 12th century. Over the years it has occupied various sites, both open and covered, including a timber framed market hall, part of the High Street and Red Lion Yard. The market was incorporated into Charter Place shopping centre in 1974, its current home.
Grant Adams, Chairman of Market Traders Association at Watford Market said: “The traders have been working closely with the council to create a new modern market place which will hopefully appeal to a wider audience than the current market hall.
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