North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) is looking to appoint a new contractor to finish the nearly-complete Newmarket in Coalville.
Westone Housing Ltd had been appointed to transform the former Litten Tree pub in Marlborough Square into a modern space with food stalls and an eating area, as well as traditional market stalls, pop-up traders and space for events.
Work began in January, but with the work around 60 per cent complete, the contractor has been forced to pull out of the contract due to COVID-19 and the challenges it has placed on the day-to-day operation of their business.
NWLDC remains committed to completing the project and its Cabinet will meet later this month to consider the options available to finish the work while still achieving value for money for taxpayers.
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of NWLDC, said: “We are absolutely determined to finish Newmarket and open it for the benefit of our market traders, shoppers and the Coalville community as soon as possible.
“This a frustrating bump in the road that is out of everyone’s control and highlights the pressures COVID-19 has unfortunately put on businesses across the country.
“It does not though change our plans and aims for Coalville. COVID-19 makes regeneration in the town more important than ever – and delivering Newmarket will be a key step. We’re 60 per cent of the way through and we’re determined to have the project finished as soon as practically possible.
“Communities, businesses and individuals are all facing challenges in the current climate but looking to the future this remains an exciting time for Coalville. Newmarket will be completed, the new owners of the Belvoir Centre have unveiled exciting plans for their centre, and just last month we submitted out Future High Streets Fund bid to Government with aim of securing millions of pounds of investment.”
Coalville’s current market building will remain open until Newmarket is completed. NWLDC plans for Newmarket to open later this year, subject to the COVID-19 restrictions continuing to ease.