Kirkgate Market is one of Leeds’ outstanding features, both as a building and a lively, traditional shopping area. But it is declining: the roof is leaking, fewer people are shopping there and market stalls are left empty.
Now the Labour-controlled City Council is taking steps to restore the Market’s former glory. Not only to repair the roof, but to improve the facilities for shoppers and traders, and additionally to create a ‘Kirkate village’: a food and leisure area where specialist retailers will operate outside normal trading hours.
It is intended to find a developer to connect the Market to the ‘Victoria Gate’ shopping centre (planned for the Eastgate area) through new shops and a main entrance on the north side of the Market.
North West Leeds resident and Labour Party member, Councillor Gerry Harper, who, as a lad, used to serve at one of the stalls, has been very much involved with the plans for the Market. He believes that the proposed works will allow the Market to prosper for many years to come.