A £4.9m revamp of the historic Market Hall roof gets underway today. The Market Hall will remain open for business throughout the improvements.

It is part of a bigger three-year programme to transform this Grade II listed Victorian Market Hall into a modern, vibrant and bustling destination in order to attract a wider cross-section of people and drive a stronger footfall in the city centre.

When the programme is completed it will complement the emerging Cultural Hub which is to be anchored by the new Music and Performance Venue. Together they are expected to re-energise the day and night-time economies in the Market Place.

The first stage of roof improvements will extend the building’s lifespan and counter structural deterioration that has occasionally forced the market’s temporary closure due to adverse weather conditions. Damaged glazing is to be restored, damaged bricks replaced, gutters and smoke vents repaired.

On Monday 19 March construction of the site office starts outside the building. Between Monday 9 April and end of June, internal scaffolding and a crash deck will be installed. This will be done outside of normal working hours. The crash deck will protect traders and is expected to eliminate temporary closures, due to adverse weather conditions. After the internal scaffolding is erected, external scaffolding will be constructed and expected to be completed in the autumn. A temporary roof will be installed to weatherproof the work area permitting construction staff to work through all weather conditions.

Other stages of work will be announced later in 2018.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the Economy, Cllr Martin Rawson said:

Part of Labour’s vision for an Ambitious Derby is to transform the Market Hall. Today signals the start of the journey to fulfil our pledge to redevelop this historic facility to support a modern, vibrant and bustling market fit for the 21st century. This is another of the City Centre Masterplan projects being delivered … in addition to Becketwell, Made in Derby ‘walk of fame’, environmental facelifts of St Peters Street, Albion Street and Exchange Street through public realm improvements, Silk Milk, and a new model of office development at Bold Lane to meet demands of the business sector.

The first stage of the works starting today is to improve the roof for the safety of everyone, to make it weather-proof, maintenance-friendly for our staff and lay the groundwork for other phases of work to attract a wider cross-section of people and drive a stronger footfall in the city centre. While the works are underway, no closures are planned.

Linda Aston, Market Traders Association Representative said:

We’re really pleased that the working is starting and very happy because closures due to adverse weather should become a thing of the past. We’re excited about the future and hope to see the Market Hall restored to its former glory.

Wates Construction, which has experience in heritage restoration, has been awarded the contract for the first phase.

Wates will engage a local supply chain and provide training and employment opportunities for the people of Derby, ensuring it leaves behind a skills and economic boost for the city.

The company has a track record in heritage restoration projects with an extensive portfolio across the UK, including the £18.7m refurbishment and remodelling of the Grade I listed Royal Hospital Chelsea and a £28m below-ground new build project to the Grade I listed Victoria & Albert Museum, London. In the East Midlands, recent projects have included the regeneration of Sneinton Market in Nottingham’s Creative Quarter and the restoration of historic factory units on Nottingham’s Dakeyne Street to create lettable commercial space for the city’s emerging creative businesses.

The Market Hall, originally designed by Derbyshire engineer Rowland Mason Ordish, is located within Derby’s City Centre Conservation Area, which also contains Derby Cathedral, the Silk Mill and the Guildhall Theatre.