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Moving day approaches for market traders

Published on Friday, November 24, 2023

2 minute read

Odel Pittard and Rob Manley at the temporary market on Green Dragon Square

AROUND 20 of the traders at Leicester’s famous market will be leaving their old sites for the last time tomorrow (Sat 25 November), as they get ready to move to their temporary new home on Green Dragon Square.

The unit holders – including those who sell birthday cards, fabrics, shoes and handbags – will then have four days to prepare their new premises, before the temporary market opens for business on the adjacent site on Thursday 30 November.

The fruit and veg sellers, however, will continue trading on their current site until close of play on Wednesday 29 November, before opening for business on their new pitches on Green Dragon Square on Thursday 30 November.

Leicester City Council has created the temporary market by installing 48 stalls and 10 container units under a weatherproof canopy, ensuring that trading can continue while a major refurbishment of the old market site gets under way.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “The transformation of Leicester Market is long overdue, so I’m very pleased that we’re now so close to seeing work starting on site.

“By creating a temporary new home for the market on Green Dragon Square, we’ve made sure that the market that’s been part of Leicester for more than 700 years can continue to trade throughout the works.

“The temporary market is fully covered to protect it from the weather and it will be ready to welcome traders and shoppers from Thursday 30 November.

“These are difficult times for small businesses, so I do hope that people will continue to support the traders over the next year or so, while work to restore Leicester Market as the city’s beating heart gets under way.”

While some traders are apprehensive about their temporary move to Green Dragon Square, others have welcomed the investment in the market area and are positive about the future.

Spencer Harris from Rachel’s Quality Fresh Fruit said: “This new market has been a long time coming.

“We’re so looking forward to the start of a new chapter for Leicester Market.”

Paul Abbott, who sells fruit and veg on the market, said: “We are a little worried about the move, but we do understand that the temporary market has to happen for us to get our brand new market.

“That’s just what we need, as the current market is so tired-looking.”

Vicki Chapple of Vicki’s Fruits said: “The sooner we get over to Green Dragon Square, the sooner we can get back to our new market.

“These are exciting times for us and it’s great that the city council is investing in the market.”

The temporary market will open on Green Dragon Square on Thursday 30 November.

Work to refurbish the market is due to get under way in January and the council hopes works will be complete before Christmas 2024.


Picture caption: Odel Pittard from Pittard’s Fruit & Veg and markets operations manager Rob Manley visit the temporary market on Green Dragon Square, ahead of its opening on Thursday 30 November.

Leicester Market will trade from its temporary site until the refurbishment of the city’s historic market is complete.