Talks on Market revamp; EXCLUSIVE.
Byline: JOE THOMAS City Centre Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org joe_thomas18 @
CRUNCH talks will take place today between traders and Liverpool council over plans for a multi-million pound revamp of St Johns Market.
The PS2m regeneration project was passed by city chiefs in the first week of July last year, with the muchneeded upgrade expected to be complete by April this year.
But, 12 months on from being approved, the scheme has not even started, with Liverpool council saying the delay is down to "issues which need to be resolved with the traders".
The council's cabinet gave the green light to the market refurbishment on July 4, 2014, setting in motion a project that should include a modernised entrance on Elliot Street. Yet since then there has been no movement on the scheme, expected to be funded from the council's capital programme.
Explaining the delay, a city council spokesman told the ECHO: "We are very keen to get the works on the market under way as soon as possible. However, there are a number of issues which need to be resolved with the traders before we can make a start and these are taking longer than anticipated.
"A further meeting is being arranged and we hope that progress will be made to enable the modernisation work to start."
The ECHO understands a meeting is due to take place today, with traders and the authority set to discuss the project.
If a solution is agreed, it would pave the wave for a significant overhaul of the popular market, which is underlet to the council by the owner of St Johns Shopping Centre, Infrared.
Under the original revamp proposals, improved signage was set to make the market more visible while, in the market itself, a wide, light central atrium space was due to be created alongside a new seating area. The balcony was set to be brought back into use with additional stalls, a cafe and new toilets. St Johns Market would also be wi-fi enabled under the plans, which include an increase in the number of traders operating at the market from 120 to 140.
The council spokesman confirmed that no funding had been lost for the scheme as a result of the delays.
An artist's impression of the new entrance