MARKET TRADER, MAY 10 - 23, 2019

NEWS 19 Bringing history back to life in Oxford

Oxford City Council and Oxford Preservation Trust are working together to restore three historic units in Oxford Covered Market. The units, formerly let as one large unit to John Lindsey

& Son Butchers, were originally built in around 1849 and are amongst the earliest surviving stalls in the 18th century market. Oxford Preservation Trust will work in partnership with

Oxford City Council, the current custodian of the Grade 2 listed Covered Market, to carry out the restoration. The restoration will be funded by Oxford Preservation

Trust, with the support of the William Delafield Trust and Oxford City Council. The project will see the modern brick extension and signage removed to open up views through the Covered Market, and will expose the original columns and fretwork. Previous investigations have revealed that parts of the original shop front, piers and fascia remain underneath the extension, and inside the units the original stone floor and vaulted lath and plaster ceilings remain, but are in need of repair. As each layer of history is peeled back, the work is

expected to discover the original Victorian colour scheme, which it is hoped can be used again. The plan will see the units restored to their Victorian

origins whilst recognising the needs of today’s tenants, with new doors and windows all designed to enable the unit to be let to one, two or three new tenants. The units were originally constructed by local tradespeople,

and continuing that tradition it is hoped that the restoration will also be carried out by local builders and craftspeople with expertise in conversation and repair. The city’s residents will get their chance to view the progress of the restoration work during Oxford Preservation Trust’s Oxford Open Doors weekend in September. Following a series of recent openings, just four of the Covered Market’s 63 units are currently vacant, but work is underway to split three of these four units, including the former Lindsey’s unit. Once this work is completed there will be up to 68 outlets in the market.

Oxford City Council is investing £3.1m into the Covered

Market to secure its long-term future, which includes £1.8m to secure the roof for another 60 to 80 years, and £1.3m for internal refurbishment, decorations and new flooring. Jesus College’s £36m redevelopment of Northgate House

will see the public realm in Market Street transformed. The city council worked closely with Jesus College on the development, recommending smaller retail units in Cornmarket Street and Market Street to create an independent shopping quarter around the Covered Market. Debbie Dance, Director of Oxford Preservation Trust, said: “We wanted to demonstrate our support for Oxford

Covered Market, which is one of Oxford’s most important heritage assets and is dear to all our hearts. “We know that these are amongst the oldest units in the Covered Market, and they have some lovely features and original structures inside, disguised behind a 1970s brick façade. “We want to remove that façade, restore the unit and

make it look fabulous to encourage some fantastic new tenants to come in. “We are very grateful to the William Delafield Trust for enabling this to happen and delighted to be working on the project in partnership with Oxford City Council. “There’s a real eagerness to work together to create a sustainable future for the Covered Market, and for that to spill out into the rest of the city to create a market quarter. Cllr Mary Clarkson added: “This is a really exciting time for Oxford Covered Market. “The city council is investing £3.1m to secure the roof and

on internal restoration, new traders are opening, existing traders have signed new long-term leases, the market is 94 percent let, and footfall is up. “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Oxford Preservation Trust to restore some of the oldest units in the Covered Market. “This is a fantastic partnership; we both care passionately

about the history and future of the Covered Market, and I cannot wait to see the units restored to their Victorian state.” Paul Birtles, owner of The Garden of Oxford and

chairperson of the Covered Market Tenants’ Association, said: “Covered Market Traders are looking forward to seeing the exciting project to restore the former John Lindsey & Son Butchers units back to their Victorian origins get under way. “It will be fascinating to see the plans unfold, and I

hope the project captures the imagination of residents and visitors alike as a light is shone on the heritage of our historic market. “We look forward with keen anticipation to seeing the refurbished units let to new tenants in the not too distant future.”

Classic and contemporary all under one roof

The Grainger Market is light, bright and has 110 quality traders. Alongside craft stalls, mini bazaars, jewellers, plant stalls, you can find high quality butchers, artisan bakers, greengrocers, and award winning street food traders, coffee shops and cafes. On Saturdays there are art and craft, vintage and specialist art markets held inside the event space. So if you’re foodie or fashion conscious, a browser or a buyer the Grainger Market offers fresh and local, eats and seats, history and culture Monday to Saturday.

Phone: 0191 211 5542 Email: @Nclmarkets @GraingerMarketNewcastle


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