COUNCIL leaders have submitted a £2m bid to Historic England to unlock a multi-million pound investment in Oxford's Covered Market.

If successful in the bid – to Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone fund – the city council - the market landlords - will work with traders, shoppers and other stakeholders later this year to begin developing proposals to transform the market.

The Oxford Times:

Proposals will consider improving the entrances and facade to the Covered Market in Market Street, improving the entrances in High Street and from the Golden Cross, making more of the communal spaces in the Covered Market, and improving existing units.

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The aim of the proposal is to increase footfall and improve the trading environment.

The council has been supported in the bid by the Covered Market Tenants’ Association, surrounding landlords, including Oxford University colleges and the owners of Golden Cross Shopping Centre, Oxford Preservation Trust, Oxford Civic Society and other local businesses and organisations.

The council is already investing £3.1m into the Covered Market to secure its long-term future. The investment includes £1.8m to secure the roof.

The Oxford Times:

Mary Clarkson, cabinet member for city centre, said: “Oxford Covered Market has been in continuous use since the late 18th century. Oxford City Council is its custodian, and it’s our duty to secure the market for future generations.

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“Our aim with this project is to transform the market, create new jobs and increase footfall – and ensure the Covered Market remains the jewel in the crown of Oxford’s retail offer.”

Joy Hetherington, Secretary of the Covered Market Tenants’ Association, said: “As a community of small, mostly independent traders we are passionate about driving this area to the forefront of our city, engaging in joint ventures with social and cultural organisations whenever possible.

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"To be part of a bigger project, all moving towards the same goals of restoring this historic area whilst making it relevant to today’s needs, is an exciting venture.”