Outdoor market trial starts today on Cathedral precinct

Wakefield Market.
Wakefield Market.

Plans to move Wakefield’s outdoor market to the Cathedral precinct are being trialled today (Thursday).

Around 30 traders have set up shop to test out the new venue, which is set to become permanent as part of plans to convert the city’s existing Union street market into a cinema complex.

There is live music and stalls selling goods including jewellery, shoes, arts and crafts, food, carpets and rugs during the trial from 9am-4pm.

It is being held after Wakefield Council decided to sell the city’s market hall to the owners of the nearby Trinity Walk shopping centre.

Indoor traders could move to the Ridings Shopping Centre after the market is turned into a multi-screen cinema with shops and restaurants.

A public consultation on the future of market trading in the city was launched after the council revealed the cinema plan.

The proposal sparked a backlash from traders and around 10,000 people signed a petition to oppose the sell-off.

But in July the council’s cabinet approved the sale of the market, which opened in 2008.

Council bosses said the market was failing to attract enough shoppers and rents were being subsidised.

Wakefield Council said the new outdoor market was expected to start early next year, and discussions were being held with the Ridings about moving indoor traders to the shopping centre.

Further trials of the new outdoor market are planned for Friday, October 17 and Saturday, November 8.

The existing £3m market was designed by leading architect David Adjaye and was built as part of a deal between the council and the private developers behind Trinity Walk.