Derby is to get new food and drink markets as part of £15 million plans to improve the city centre.
The proposals are aimed at reinvigorating shopping and entertainment areas to attract more visitors and create hundreds of jobs.
The money will also go towards regeneration of the Becketwell area of the city centre and help the current scheme to repair the Market Hall roof, says the city council.
The Market Hall will become home to new food and drink-themed markets, a “make-and-trade” zone for new entrepreneurs and space for events and activities.
Cash for the schemes will come from the Government’s Future High Street Fund, designed to help renew and reshape town centres and high streets across the country with the aims of driving growth, ensuring future sustainability, and improving general visitor experience.
Derby City Council submitted a bid for the funding earlier this year. The final details on how the allocation can best be spent will be determined by the council in due course.
Talks are ongoing on potential schemes that could see the creation of new office space and the regeneration of Becketwell. There are also talks over potential developments in digital infrastructure and technology in the city centre that could benefit visitors and improve links to key areas.
Matthew Holmes, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation, said the proposals would better connect the city centre and create a more attractive and diversified offer.
He said: “Successful city centres are the ones able to combine great retail and leisure offerings with residential and business use. Our future High Streets Fund bid, viewed alongside schemes like the Nightingale Quarter and Castleward housing developments and the new Museum of Making, will help to shape a city that can be a great place to live, work and relax.”
Amanda Solloway, Member of Parliament for Derby North, has also commented on the announced funding and how it can benefit Derby.
She said: “This is great news for Derby, and it will go a long way to helping boost our high streets and local economy. I would like to thank the City Council for all their hard work in helping attract the funding to our city centre.
“Derby has always been a fantastic place to be, whether it is for work or recreation and there are great opportunities for the funding to make it even better. I’m especially pleased that work is under way on repairing the Market Hall and a refurbishment of the venue will make it a great place for people to meet and provide a terrific opportunity to showcase new local businesses.
“With the coronavirus pandemic, it has been an especially difficult year for our high streets, and it is pivotal that we can effectively reinvigorate our local economy in 2021 and beyond. The potential of the funding to enhance workspaces and improve venues, infrastructure and links will help lay important foundations for the future growth of our city centre.”