Woking Market Relocation and Modernisation
Project Value – £5 million
Delivery Date – July 2015
In 2013 Woking Council opted to relocate it’s Open Market to enable the next phase of their Town Centre regeneration plans. Relocating the Market was a precursor to redeveloping of Victoria Square for a mixed-use commercial and residential scheme which differentiates the town from it’s regional competition.
The new Market is a overdue bonus. The Open Market had deteriorated into a low-quality collection of semi-permanent shacks and trailers of poor appearance and restricted variety. Relocation was an opportunity to significantly improve their offer and enhance the Public realm adjacent to the Peacocks Shopping Centre. After evaluating the options and in partnership with Architects an under-used service space within the Shopping Centre was repurposed for ambient and refrigerated storage, waste handling and management facilities. The public realm covered walkway between the Shops and carparks was remodelled and made ready to accept the new Market.
Weather-protected lockup stalls were designed with an innovative modular design which enabled fabrication off-site before plugging-into pre-arranged service positions. This minimised any disruption to footfall between the Shopping Centre and carpark. The relocation was preceded by Trader negotiations and the issue of new trading licences which ensured continuity of trade.
Once complete, a modernised operational management structure was introduced and existing staff TUPE’d to work for the new arms-length operating company provided with modernised accounting and management functions.
The quality of offer has been greatly improved and is now far more appropriate. Local start-up businesses have established themselves on the Market and monthly Farmers Markets, quarterly ‘Continental’ and periodic Antiques and Craft Fairs are staged in conjunction with the Council town centre events programme. The Market now hosts an popular annual Food Festival as a regional attraction.
- Release of former site for town centre regeneration
- Provision of weather-protected permanent and demountable stalls
- Innovative plug-in stall design to ensure continuity of trade
- Creation of service areas in adjacent Shopping Centre
- Public realm remodelled and greatly improved
- Implemented without disruption to adjacent Shopping Centre
- Management accounting system upgraded
- Monthly Farmers Market, Quarterly ‘Continental’ Market and annual Food Festival
- Significant increase in town centre footfall