The vision for Scarborough Market Hall, produced by Leeds-based architecture practice Group Ginger, has been revealed bringing to life a key regeneration project for the coastal town that is set to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs and independent small businesses.
The design, commissioned by Scarborough Borough Council, alongside work from Esh Construction, follows extensive consultation with past and present market traders, and is a contemporary interpretation of Victorian and 1930s arcade architecture. Immediately familiar to local people, the creative approach respects the integrity of the original, purpose-built Victorian market hall, with the addition of new spaces, offering a fresh setting for start-ups.
Group Ginger’s Simon Baker said: “The £2.7million investment in Scarborough Market is indicative of a trend emerging in the North of England, with public bodies increasingly choosing to invest in supporting independent retail businesses.
“We see more and more developers investing in creating an element of theatre in the retail and leisure experience, in a drive to combat the lure of online shopping. Markets are ready-made ‘retail theatres’ and there remains a great deal of affection for markets amongst the general public which town and city centres – not only Scarborough but also Leeds, Bradford, Barnsley and elsewhere – are well placed to capitalise on by investing in their assets.
With a listed building as our starting point, our role was to adapt and reconfigure the spaces, to make them relevant for the future. It was important to us, in approaching the project, that we didn’t alienate anyone – long-standing traders, customers or new start-ups – and our design puts traders and customers centre-stage, to help foster that sense of community that people love about market halls.”
Key to the revitalisation of Scarborough Market Hall is the introduction of a flexible events space, an idea presented in Group Ginger’s original proposal and that will create new opportunities for the building to reclaim its position at the heart of civic life in the town.
Group Ginger have a strong track record in reinterpreting heritage buildings for a new generation of users, including the former Tetley’s brewery HQ in Leeds, now ’The Tetley’ – a contemporary art space with restaurant and offices which attracts more than 100,000 visitors per year.