Leicester Market Square

The largest covered market in Europe. The market occupies a central site in Leicester, surrounded by some very fine architecture. All these buildings are hidden from view by a modern roof covering the stalls. Plans are afoot to at least remove this roof and possibly the market itself. This would leave a large open square for multiple uses.



Anonymous said...

Looks nice on paper but it could be the death of the actual market.

It would certainly a good idea to improve the area - particularly to open up and reveal the nice historical architecture around the perimeter. However, this could put space pressure on the 700-year-old market itself which is far more important to the culture of the city than a few short-lived bars and cafe's.

On the continent, many historic cities have opted for the latter leaving them as pretty vacuous places whereas we still have a living breathing piece of history. Long may it last.

If they can get the two to co-exist then great.

Leicester Regeneration said...

The square is surrounded by some fine architecture, which is hidden from street level view by the permanent roof of the market.

The market is 700 years old, but it was only ever held on a Saturday until more modern times.

The market square could be a major focal point for the city and the site is really the true heart of Leicester's central core.

There is potential to move the market to another location, such as the land between the Haymarket Shopping Centre and St Margaret's Bus Station.

This would widen the retail core of the city, make the market more accessible to public transport and allow the market square to become a much better retail and leisure location.

Anonymous said...

Wherever and however it ends up lets not sacrifice any of it for rows of Starbucks and Macdonalds outlets.

Leicester may be in dire need of regeneration but we must have *quality* regeneration not just a 'keeping up with the Jones' style footrace to have more shops and bars than Nottingham.

There is more to growing a city than drinking and buying clothes. As yet the only semi-complete regeneration project is a huge shopping mall - what does that tell you about our priorities?

No one will be wowed by the Highcross in 20 years time but the market will outlive it for centuries.

Leicester Regeneration said...

The market can be relocated. I would not advocate getting rid of the market altogether, but the square it is currently in is potentially beautiful.

We do need to compete with other cities, so we need to improve the quality and quantity of what we offer.

A growing number of the stalls on Leicester Market sell counterfeit goods, or low quality clothing and electrical items. As a result, retail in the surrounding area can be quite poor.

Move the market and give Leicester another beautiful square to complement Town Hall Square.

Anonymous said...

You're on thin ice justifying moving the market purely because the current standard of some of the stalls is poor. Thats the thin end of the wedge which property developers will use as an excuse to diminish it. In another 20 years they'll then say "oh its so small and insignificant now we should get rid of it altogether".

I'm not against moving it if there is somewhere genuinely better for it but it has to be treated as the number one asset in the location rather than a problem that has to be 'dealt with'.

If quality is a problem then it is essential that the council actively promote it to bring back the quality. They used to do this (you may still see bumper stickers celebrating "Leicester's Super Market") but now it looks like thir turning a blind eye to its decline. I'm not happy about that at all.

Leicester Regeneration said...

I'm happy with a move of the market, or a very high-quality revamp which would in turn attract a better standard of retailers and other outlets to the area.

The market square is the true heart of Leicester. Not because of the existence of the market stalls, but because it is far more central than the Clock Tower.

It's only my personal opinion, but I think that a relocation to Belgrave Gate, would stimulate growth in that neglected part of the city centre and give us a much improved "market square".

Anonymous said...

it just beggars belief we still have to live with the hell-hole known as the market.
shoddy goods, shifty owners...it's an absolute outrage it's still standing.
what a totally waste of what could be our hidden jewel, an historic open square, akin to the great open arena's great civilistaions enjoyed thousands of years before...(just to put into context the idea the markets been there for 'years').
i agree on moving the current market on the outskirts of the city centre...possibly nearer st margarets...IMHO...

Anonymous said...

i think the market should go. not many people even go there now and thats a fact. full of tacky stalls which in my honest opinion drag the city down even further than it already is. Being a student in Liverpool, I really do see a difference between englands major cities and leicester. Leicester has potential to be a great city and a very trendy and beautiful one at that but the locals do not seem to embrace change! Just look at how Birmingham has transformed over the past tne years and Liverpool and Manchester too! Stop living in the past and let that eye sore be moved somewhere else! Believe me, it would not be missed!

a wild creature said...

In my considered personal opinion the Leicester Market is the one unique and wonderful feature this average (at best) looking city has to offer. The thought of moving it to "improve" the city centre is just ridiculous.
It is historical, but it is also a living breathing thing. The hub of the street life all year round, the real heart of the city centre. Why move it, seriously? It's called the market square for a reason.
Why the need to make everything into a bloody neat clean and ordered museum?! Let's be honest, you'd expose the architecture, and then what? The space woulld be swallowed by commercial chains and strabucks gardens and I can guarantee the space would never be used as much, by as many people as it is now. And even if it was pretty, it would be soulless.
Do developers not realise that what makes a good, friendly, atmospheric city are in fact happy, busy, interacting citizens. Not exposed brickwork.
The idea of moving the market is just insulting.

Anonymous said...

The MARKET is one of the features of the city which makes it unique. What is happening, are we to pass on to the future generation just books and pictures of this beautiful City? Remember all of the manifacturing indisturies? one only need to speak to our younger generation about this and they would have nothing to be proud of or to remember,because there is nothing to remind them of this city which was theirs before they came; afterall we were cartaker for them as we are for those that will come. I know that time does not stand still, however we share this city with our youth and we will have to pass it on to them one day, are we saying we know what is best for them?. Remember the so call answer to the housing problems in the 70s (Tower Blocks) who cares to acknowlede the regrets about building them? A handfull of people are making decisions which change the landscape and history of this wonderful and beautiful city, without truly listerning or hearing what we would like for OUR city.
Britain is not my country of birth but Leicester is MY home and I have loved living here for the past 36 years. Albey