CONSTRUCTION on the much anticipated new home of Woking Market gets underway today.
Around 16 permanent kiosks will rise up along the strip in Peacock Walk, providing a clutter-free, refurbished pedestrian route to replace the trading space lost in the Bandstand Development.
Portfolio holder for public markets, Councillor Gary Elson, said the £4.7 million refurb, approved by council chiefs in December, will be a welcome addition to the town’s ever-changing landscape.
He added: “We are delighted that works to relocate Woking Market to the heart of the town are about to begin.
“Creating a high-quality, diverse and vibrant covered market catering for food, fashion and household goods, as well as seasonal speciality stalls, will enhance the shopping experience for residents and visitors, while complementing the redevelopment works in and around Jubilee Square.”
There will be space for seven additional seasonal stalls and the scheme will include the construction of new, fully-accessible public toilets and baby-changing facilities on the ground floor of Wolsey Place shopping centre.
New anti-slip flooring will also be installed in the link from Wolsey Walk to Peacock Walk.
The project was met with universal approval from residents, buyers and traders alike, and the council will soon release criteria for all incoming occupants.
Leader of the council, Cllr John Kingsbury explained: “The criteria will seek to ensure that the market is of the right quality and diversity to bring real vibrancy to the town.”
During the building process access between the Bandstand end of Peacock Walk and the entrance to the Yellow Car Park will be restricted.
The current market site at the end of Commercial Way will soon be levelled to make room for a new road junction connecting High Street and Victoria Way as part of the Bandstand project.
Bus stops and a new public plaza will front the new anchor store, Marks & Spencer, which will stand among a proposed new hotel and residential accommodation.
The works are being carried out by contractor McLaughlin & Harvey, on behalf of Bandstand Square Developments Limited, a joint venture between Moyallen, Head Lessee of the Peacocks Shopping Centre, Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council.
It is anticipated that the public toilets will be fully operational late this year, while the covered market will be completed by mid-2014.