Kingston Market to undergo face-lift by 2014

The historic market place in Kingston is set for a face-lift that would increase the area’s role as a “cultural and recreational hub.”<--break->“></p>

<p>In an estimated £3m-£4m revamp Kingston Borough Council plan on changing the image of the area, whilst also making it more efficient.</p>

<p>Neighbourhood manager, Neville Reinford said: “The market place is currently tired and old-fashioned and locals have complained about the waste.”</p>

<p>Mr Reinford went on to add that the market would have the same amount of stalls as present, but by opening up old, bricked up arches, the redesign would allow more space for sellers and customers alike.</p>

<p>“It’s not about additions, it is about making the area more efficient and pretty to look at.” </p>

<p>Under the new plan the market would also be able to introduce evening entertainment through musical performances and poetry readings. </p>

<p>Mr Reinford said that consultative meetings had produced a generally positive reaction from traders and locals. </p>

<p>Local market trader Michael Pickard is cautiously optimistic that changes could be positive.  “The potential is definitely there,” says Mr Pickard, “it worked for the riverside so it should work here.”</p>

<p>However, not everybody is in favour of the face-lift. Dave Wilson, 72, has worked on the market for over 30 years and has concerns that the council are out of touch with traditional market values. </p>

<p>“It will be a market, but not the market,” he said, arguing that turning the historic market into a Covent Garden style tourism centre will ultimately damage the market’s personality.</p>

<p>Meetings between traders and the council will continue to take place, and if the move goes ahead, expect to see a very different market place by 2014.</p>

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