Work has started on the £400,000-plus facelift for the popular indoor market at Idlewells Shopping Centre in Sutton.
And that means the 59-stall market, which attracts 25,000 shoppers per week, is closed for an initial three-week period.
Ashfield District Council is carrying out the refurbishment, which is expected to result in vibrant improvements for shoppers and traders alike.
After the first three weeks, the rest of the work will be carried out while the market is fully functional, ensuring as little inconvenience as possible until its planned completion date of November.
Nevertheless, some traders have opted to move into the shopping centre itself while the improvements are made, so that they don’t lose too much business.
For example, a mini-market has been set up in one of the empty shops, containing a mixture of popular stalls. Material Girl, Dove Communications, Beauty Box and Jenny’s Lingerie are all trying out a temporary slot next door to fashion store, Select.
“They are enjoying access to a whole new audience, while pre-promoting the new-look indoor market,” said a council spokeswoman.
Meanwhile fruit and vegetable stallholder Glen, of Fruitarian, has a full range on display in a prime position in the centre of Idlewells, directly opposite the entrance to B&M Bargains, until the summer,
Idlewells manager Chloe O’Donnell said: “We’re very pleased to accommodate these stalls during the closure. The stallholders have made a lovely job of setting up their stalls, and they are enabling us to provide shoppers with more choice, which is always our aim.”
As well as the temporary re-locations, Chloe has overseen a permanent move for small business, E-Cig Wizard, to a small kiosk, which had been empty for a long time, just outside the market’s entrance.
Artist’s impressions of the new-look indoor market will be on view at the end of the three-week closure period.