Plans to redevelop and partly demolish Lancaster Market to create the city’s biggest single retail unit have been submitted to the city council.
London based Allied Lancaster Ltd, owner of Marketgate Shopping Centre, are seeking permission to create a £10m, 40,000 sq ft two storey unit for an “anchor tenant” in the former market hall.
Darren Sharpe, from Allied, said the company would hopefully soon be in a position to announce who the tenant would be.
The plans include the closure of the entrance in Common Garden Street, and a new entrance created within the covered area of the shopping centre.
Gillinson’s Lane, which links Marketgate to Common Garden Street, would also be removed to allow the extension of the new development further into the shopping centre, and the demolition of some of the existing walls.
Mr Sharpe added: “It’s great that we can re-invigorate this end of the city.
“In terms of retail development it’s very tough at the moment, but the city lacks the large stores, which is one of the reasons why we chose this type of development for the site.”
It is hoped that the new store would help to stop loss of trade to other towns and cities in the region like Blackpool, Preston and Kendal.
Lancaster Market closed controversially last year after costs spiralled for Lancaster City Council, who were leasing the building from Allied to rent out to market traders.
The city council had entered into a 99 year lease with Allied, with no get out clause, and following the closure of the market, speculation has grown over how much it will cost the council to remove itself from the lease. It is still not clear what the cost will be.