Traders in Derby’s Victorian Market Hall are preparing to relocate ready for the multimillion-pound transformation of the Grade II listed building to enter its next stage in early June.

Derby City Council is working in partnership with Derbion to enable the traders to run their businesses in the Eagle Market while the Market Hall closes temporarily for essential works to take place.

The Council has taken out a lease with Eagle Market for the Market Hall traders’ units and has financially supported the fit-out. The traders will be offered first refusal for stalls at the Market Hall when its regeneration is complete and terms and conditions for new leases have been finalised.

Throughout negotiations to find alternative premises during the refurbishment, the Council has worked with the traders to keep them updated and involved.

The rejuvenated Market Hall will become a vibrant retail and leisure destination at the heart of the city centre, linking Derbion and St Peter’s Quarter to the Cathedral Quarter and Becketwell, and increasing the diversity of the city centre economy.

It will also play a vital role in creating a thriving cultural heart in the Market Place and surrounding area, including the Assembly Rooms site, as part of plans to encourage economic recovery and investor confidence in the city centre.

Councillor Mick Barker, Cabinet Member for Governance and Licensing, said:

Traders are at the heart of a market, and we are pleased to be able to offer them this solution at what we appreciate is an unsettling time, particularly after the challenges of COVID and ongoing work on the Market Hall.

We have worked in collaboration with the traders, and are pleased to be working with Derbion, who have helped us develop the best offer for them. One of the things we have learned over the last year is the strength that can come from forming partnerships, to help our city build back stronger, and this is another example of this approach.

The Market Hall will temporarily close its doors to customers on Saturday 5 June, but the move for the 11 traders who are relocating to the Eagle Market will be ongoing as their stalls are fitted out and become available.

Linda Aston, from the Market Hall Traders Association, said:

We know the works need to be done to make our beautiful building fit for the 21st century. Leaving will be very emotional, but returning will be better. We look forward to working alongside the Eagle Market traders and greeting our customers in our new location.

Adam Tamsett, general manager at Derbion, commented:

We are pleased to be working with Derby City Council to welcome new traders to the Eagle Market.

We are always seeking new ways to support local businesses, and we are delighted to be able to offer space to traders from the Market Hall. We hope that by bringing established traders into Eagle Market we will see an increase in footfall and help to bolster our existing offer.

When it reopens the Market Hall will offer traditional and themed markets, events, one off or pop up uses and small performances, with a greater emphasis on food and drink. It is also proposed to pilot a Make and Trade Zone. A traditional market offer will continue to be kept alongside a new food court and flexible events space adding to Derby’s day and night time economy.

Plans to remodel the Market Place and surrounding area as the cultural heart of the city centre is part of the wider vision for a vibrant city centre, which is key to ensuring Derby’s economy remains resilient following COVID 19. A task force, made up of representatives from both public and private sectors, is driving activity to maintain business and investor confidence, and recently a £1.75 million initiative was launched by Derby City Council to encourage more businesses to locate in the heart of Derby.