Page last updated at 08:39 GMT, Sunday, 13 September 2009 09:39 UK

Upgrade plan for old market hall

Newtown Market Hall (pic: Powys Council)
The 3m plan proposes more space for stalls at Newtown Market Hall

Plans costing £3m to save an historic indoor market have been unveiled by a body which promotes local and regional food produce.

The Mid Wales Food and Land Trust said it wants to retain the Victorian heritage of the 149-year-old Grade II-listed market hall in Newtown, Powys.

Its plan includes building a mezzanine first floor to keep the mainly glass roof yet provide offices and a cafe.

Powys council, which owns the hall, discusses the scheme next week.

The market is threatened with closure because of the high cost of bringing it up to modern standards without losing its character.

The local authority first considered selling the market hall to the private sector is 2005.

Last year hundreds of people have signed a petition calling on the council to keep the Victorian market hall open.

More space

Powys council said it could not afford to maintain the building. Traders called for guarantees on the market's future.

Under the trust's proposals, a central wall running the length of the hall, a recent addition, would be removed to open up the ground floor to make more space available for market stalls.

The trust, whose projects include the Welsh Food Festival in Berriew, said it hopes to fund the £3m project with grants from the Welsh Assembly Government, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Wales' historic environment service, Cadw.



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