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Adjaye’s Wakefield market spared demolition under new cinema plans

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Most of David Adjaye’s 2008 Wakefield Market Hall to be saved under new refurbishment plans drawn up by Leslie Jones Architecture

Fears for the future of the distinctive canopies were raised in 2014 (see AJ 05.02.14) when property firm Sovereign Land submitted plans to substantially redevelop the site (pictured bottom).

However, the developer, now called Sovereign Centros, has unveiled new proposals for a nine-screen cinema, restaurants and cafes, which will retain the bulk of Adjaye’s distinctive canopies.

A spokesperson for the firm said: ‘The main portion of the Market Hall’s distinctive canopy and columns are to be retained.

‘At the southern end of the building the canopy will be modified to allow for the upper storey of The Light cinema.

‘The canopy will define a new, covered public space with outdoor seating spilling from the restaurants and suitable for events and entertainment.

‘The retained elements together with the new buildings will create an exciting new landmark at a key gateway to the city centre.’

Wakefield Council and Sovereign Centros, together with the owners of the nearby Trinity Walk Shopping Centre, have agreed - in principle - the sale of the site.

The developer will now bring forward a planning application before the end of the year.

The proposals will go on display at a public exhibition in Wakefield which opens later this week.

Sovereign Centros director Max La Frenais said: ‘The indoor market, which opened in 2008, has struggled despite significant efforts and initiatives to encourage shoppers. This is not a situation unique to Wakefield.’

Andrew Wallhead, corporate director for regeneration and economic growth at the council said that it has offered financial support, and help in relocating to market traders on the existing site.

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