FWP-led Preston Markets canopy work gets underway

Work has started installing a new walkway canopy at Preston Markets.

The project is being led by architect, design and masterplanning practice Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP), together with specialist designer and manufacturer DP Structures.

The installation is the final stage in improvement work on the award-winning Market Hall, which opened in early 2018. The hall was designed by FWP in collaboration with Greig and Stephenson Architects.

The new canopy will sit above the internal walkways between the market stalls and improve the environment throughout the year, ensuring it is more comfortable for both customers and traders.

The structure has been fabricated from steel frames and infilled with clear panels, in order to maintain the visual appearance of the underside of the original 1875 market canopy, which has been carefully refurbished by a team led by FWP.

The new canopy has been completely manufactured off-site and the instillation will take approximately ten weeks to complete.

Work will take place outside the market’s trading hours, causing minimal disruption to the traders and customers.

Brent Clayton, partner at Preston-headquartered FWP, which has led the £5million regeneration of the city’s markets, said: “The aim of the walkway canopy is to ensure shopping in the market is a comfortable and pleasant experience.

“We’ve worked closely with market traders and Preston City Council to deliver this innovative project.

“The canopy has been designed to retain the heat in the market hall. It will also allow visitors to see the underside of the beautiful Victorian canopy that has been restored in all its glory and is one of the city’s architectural and design treasures.”

The canopy has been created by Nelson-based DP Structures, designers and manufacturers specialising in the creation of bespoke architectural steel structures and products.

Sam Livesey, chairman of the Traders Association at Preston Markets, said: “This installation programme is welcomed by all the traders at Preston Markets.

“The plan means the canopy is in place before the colder months and there will be minimal disruption to our trade and customers.”

The markets regeneration project was honoured with The Royal Town Planning Institute’s top regional award for Creating Economically Successful Places.

Historic England and a local conservation group were also involved in developing a design and use of materials wholly sympathetic to the listed canopy.

Preston City Council’s vision for the project included creating a city centre destination which appealed to a wide range of visitors and residents, using a food-oriented approach and overhauling the markets from a visual aspect.

FWP, which also has offices in Manchester and London, has worked on a number of major regeneration projects in its home city, including the redevelopment of Preston North End’s Deepdale ground.

It is also part of the team looking to return the striking Park Hotel building – a landmark for rail travellers arriving in Preston – back to its luxury use.

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