Oxford City Council has submitted a £2m funding bid to Historic England’s High Street Heritage Action Zone fund, which could help unlock a multi-million-pound investment to transform Oxford Covered Market.
If successful, the City Council will work with traders, shoppers and other stakeholders later this year to begin developing proposals to transform the market.
The 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
- Improving existing units to enable more flexible and shared use of spaces
- Improvements to the market’s servicing – e.g. recycling and deliveries
No detailed costings have yet been produced, but it is expected that the total investment will run into millions of pounds.
The Council aims to increase footfall and improve the trading environment for local independent businesses, create new jobs, encourage more Oxford residents to shop in the Covered Market, and turn the 18th-century building into a cultural hub that attracts people throughout the day and into the evening.
Oxford City Council’s wider goal is to create an Oxford Market Quarter of small, independent traders, including the Covered Market and the surrounding sections of Market Street, Turl Street, High Street and the Golden Cross. The Council has already been working closely with Jesus College on the £36m redevelopment of Northgate House.
Oxford City 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 for another 60 to 80 years, and £1.3m for internal refurbishment, decorations and new flooring.