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Market traders welcome roof refurbishment project

Swansea Market traders have welcomed plans to refurbish the iconic building's roof in the New Year.

Swansea Market

Stallholders say the Swansea Council project will lead to a better and brighter shopping experience for the thousands of people who visit the historic attraction every week.

The £1.9 million project due to start in January will include the refurbishment of the existing barrel vault roof and the renewal of roof and gable glazing. Essential repairs to the roof light lanterns and flat roof will also be carried out.

Swansea Council and its contractor, R & M Williams, have now outlined the detail of the project to traders in a presentation at the market. Follow-up letters to all traders have also been sent and further drop-in sessions have been arranged for next week before the contractor moves into a temporary base on Union Street at the start of November.

In a survey carried out earlier this year, Swansea Market traders said the roof's refurbishment was their top priority because it was no longer fit for purpose. Other improvement works could also follow in future to further improve the market's look and feel, subject to available funding.

Leigh Vaughan, Chairman of the Swansea Market Traders Federation, said: "The market is at the heart of the city centre and acts as a focal point where people arrange to meet as well as shop. This is really positive news because it will lead to a more pleasurable shopping experience that will complement the warm welcome visitors always get from the market traders. If the traders are comfortable in their trading environment, then the shoppers will be comfortable too. It's also comforting to know that the contractor will be based on Union Street throughout the works because they'll be close at hand if we have any questions or queries. This is an exciting project because it will help bring the market into the 21st Century while conserving its traditional character. It'll be business as usual throughout the works, so I'd urge people to continue to support the market throughout the project."

The scheme, expected to last about six months, is being funded by Swansea Council and the Building Enhancement Programme, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

Access to the market will be maintained at all times and deliveries will be unaffected.

Tony Paulton, a trader who sells watercolour paintings in the market, said: "It's fantastic news that the roof is going to be refurbished and exciting to hear all about the modern materials that will be used. January is also the best time of year to start the works because it means the important Christmas trading period for traders will be unaffected."

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