Senior officials from Leeds City Council – including its markets champion Gerry Harper and Director of City Development Martin Farrington – are going to be briefing the press about a “new consultation” next Tuesday (8th May) in the Civic Hall.
Also in attendance will be Paul Venn from Norfolk Property Services (NPS), the Council’s new joint venture partners for architectural design services, who will be “taking forward” the consultation.
It wasn’t immediately clear how this new consultation differs from the consultation launched in January this year following the publication of a report on the market by consultants Quarterbridge. (Or indeed from the consultation on the market’s future launched in January the year before.)
The focus this time round may well be limited to the options for “redevelopment and refurbishment” of the market given acceptance of Quarterbridge’s main recommendations: that the market be reduced in size by around 25%; that the George Street shops, the 1976 hall and the 1981 hall be replaced; and that the 1904 and 1875 halls be refurbished.
“As part of the next steps forward and looking into the feasibility studies around the possible options for the future of the market, design and architect specialists NPS have been appointed to take forward the consultation and design phase of the project,” says an invite to the briefing.
The three men will be giving “an overview of what will be happening and the timescales of the project”, it adds.
The Council meanwhile is continuing to investigate the options for the long-term ownership/management of the market.
Interestingly enough, one of the models they’ll be looking at is that of a joint venture company – the route taken by the council in Liverpool in partnership with Geraud Markets.
And that’s just the model that the Leeds Council has opted for with the people who are running this latest consultation, NPS.