Fresh images reveal plan to make Newcastle's Grainger Market the best in Europe

Newcastle's Grainger Market it about to undergo restoration to transform one of the city's most-loved buildings

Plans to restore the Grainger Market have been unveiled as Newcastle strives to protect one of its most treasured buildings.

The Grainger Market is the city’s oldest and most important retail asset, standing proudly in the city centre since 1835. And now the indoor market will undergo refurbishment to enhance its original features of the Grade I building whilst making significant changes to rival some of the best European markets.

The market received £8.2m from the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund with the vision to create a space for cultural activities in the market and grow its audience, whilst also providing a good quality, affordable location for independent local traders and retaining the existing loyal customer base.

Central to achieving this vision are plans to significantly upgrade the Arcade to compliment the bright and roomy environment created by the restored barrelled glass roof and bringing more flexibility to the market by creating an exciting new event space and extending opening hours.

Two new ‘pavilions’, one at each end of the Arcade, will create impressive new spaces for a variety of uses, both in the day and into the evening, whilst still having traders located to each side.  

The Nun Street Pavilion will include tiered seating and steps up a first-floor table seating area, and new retail and storage spaces below.

The Nelson Street Pavilion will provide a permanent servery counter, an upper-level platform for seating and events and additional new retail spaces below.

The Arcade will also benefit from new terrazzo flooring, and the removal of freestanding central retail units, which were added in the 1970s, will create space for additional seating and events. Traders who were currently located in this central area have been relocated to newly renovated units in the market. Other improvements, many of which have been shaped by feedback from traders and will enhance the original features include:

- Renovations to all 14 entrances to improve the market’s visibility. These will be fitted with glazed, automatic sliding doors and fixed glazed windows to help reduce draughts.

- Upgraded décor for all the entrances, with new mosaic floor tiling and runners, orientation and signage added.

- The refurbishment of the external area around the entrances, with planters, signage, and new granite paving runners to lead customers into the market.

- Improved décor of the alleys, and new wayfinding and signage. New programmable LED lighting will be installed to upper sections to allow for colours to change and an improved ambience.

- Refurbished toilet facilities.

Cllr Alex Hay, Cabinet Member for a Thriving City said: “I am pleased to unveil these plans that the council, FaulknerBrowns and Grainger Market traders have been working on for some time now.

“This has been a truly inclusive process, where the traders’ opinions have been listened to throughout, and these designs have been shaped by them.

“We have a unique asset in the Grainger Market, and it is more than just a striking and historic building. It is a community that has been created over the years by loyal traders and customers.

“And they will continue to be as important as ever, but to secure the market’s future it must move forward and broaden its appeal and customer-base. With these new plans, I am confident we can achieve this, with the traditional and more contemporary working side-by-side to create a vibrant destination befitting of and benefitting our wonderful city.”

Work is due to start this summer in partnership with FaulknerBrowns Architects.

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