Shoppers and traders are to help shape a bright new look that will revitalise a key area of Swansea Market.
They are to have their say on two design concepts for the existing central area that is to become a location for people to meet, eat and spend quality time.
One design is based on a pergola theme, with greenery and a 7.5m-tall landmark feature that mirrors the market’s iconic glass roof; the other features decorative trees with a dramatic nautical sail structure that reflects Swansea’s maritime history.
People are also being asked to help name the new area by choosing from three options which have an historical or symbolic link to the market.
Both design options have tables, seats and toddler play areas. They have USB phone charging, power points, a dog water station and recycling/refuse facilities.
Each is accessible to all shoppers. Lighting will be improved to enhance the experience.
Shoppers buying drinks and food from nearby stalls will be able to use the area to relax whilst watching market life go by. Both areas are flexible enough to host a range of events, including speciality markets such as the popular vegan market, exhibitions and displays.
The upgrade, driven by Swansea Council, will still mean opportunities for casual traders within the market. A new stall area is being created for them.
Existing market attractions such as the cockle rotunda and the surrounding permanent stalls will remain in place.
The online public consultation for shoppers to give their views began yesterday (Jan 12) and will run until January 26. To have your say log on to www.swansea.gov.uk/swanseamarketcentralarea.
Public feedback will aid the final design process and it is hoped that the new area will open in the second half of this year in line with government restrictions then in place. It will be managed by the market team.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “We’ve been working on these plans through the pandemic and now want the public to influence the final design. I encourage people to have their say.
“The market – although open only for essential shopping right now – will continue to improve its offer for shoppers.
“It will help Swansea recover strongly in a post-Covid world and will be a crucial part of our future as the city centre undergoes its £1bn regeneration.
“By enhancing this large area of the market we’ll see more people want to visit and spend time there. This will be a wonderful improvement and I thank traders for their support.”
The survey also sees people asked to vote on a name for the new area. The shortlist is: Croes y Farchnad / Market Cross – in honour of the location where, from around the 12th century, the market was founded; Calon – Welsh for heart with the market remaining at the heart of the city centre; Gardd y Farchnad / The Market Garden – as the market’s central area was traditionally home to the flower market.
The project is being funded by the Welsh Government’s Targeted Regeneration Investment programme and the council.
The designs have been drawn up by award-winning design specialists Tangent Partnership Ltd who have bases in Brecon and London.
It’s part of a £439,000 improvement project at the venue, named Britain’s best large indoor market last year in the Great British Market Awards. Other improvements in this project include the recently opened accessible free-to-use public toilets. To come are free public Wi-Fi, new interactive LED signs and improved entrances.
The market, managed by the council, is the permanent home to more than 100 businesses. It hosts casual traders and events.
It’s open to the public – for essential supplies only right now – six days a week and some traders offer delivery services to help residents through the pandemic.