Work has started on an improvements package at Swansea’s award-winning indoor market.
Almost £440,000 is being spent on the venue – and the first of five projects to begin is the creation of a new public toilet unit.
It is near the market’s Quadrant entrance and is being converted from a stall formerly occupied by the Powder Room.
It will have three unisex cubicles, including a fully accessible unit, and a Changing Places facility for those with profound care needs.
The facility will be free to use, will be open during market opening times and will be maintained by market staff.
The work, by Swansea-based Edmunds Webster, started on May 18 and is expected to be completed this summer.
Other changes being planned include a multi-purpose communal area, free public Wi-Fi, new interactive LED signs and improved entrances.
Work is being carried out with a close focus on Government social distancing guidelines.
The market, managed by Swansea Council, is the permanent home to more than 100 businesses, hosts casual traders and events and was named Britain’s best large indoor market this year in the Great British Market Awards.
Although the market is temporarily closed to the public at present, a number of traders are offering delivery services to help the local community through the coronavirus crisis.
Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “It’s good to see work starting on these market improvements. We said we’d make these positive changes and that’s what we’re doing.
“This is important work that will help maintain the market’s status as a jewel in our city’s crown. As our £1bn city centre regeneration goes on, the market will have an vital role to play.”
With up to 80,000 customers a week and a growing food and drink offer, the market is a key attraction for the city centre, generating significant footfall.
The £439,000 improvement project is being part funded by the Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme and the council.
Tenders are due to go out shortly, inviting businesses to bid for the contract to create the multi-purpose communal area. Work is due to start in the autumn.