Retail hub and homes at Open Market

An £18 million redevelopment of Brighton’s Open Market and the Francis Street car park is under way. Planning permission was granted in February, with only a few weeks to go before the deadline for housing association Hyde to claim £4.26 million in funding for the project from the Homes and Communities Agency. The money has now been awarded.

Hyde worked closely with the Open Market Traders’ Association and LCE Architects – the firm behind the Jubilee site development – to come up with plans that will provide a retail hub off the London Road, a performing arts space and affordable housing.

There will be 44 permanent market stalls, 12 light industrial/retail units, workshop, office and public toilets, plus 87 residential units in three six-storey blocks. These will be available to local people either for rent or in shared ownership with the housing association. Francis Street will become a space shared by cars, cyclists and pedestrians, as New Road in the city centre already is.

The market was opened by barrow traders in the 1930s but suffered from competition from supermarkets since the 1960s and became increasingly run-down. Its redevelopment is expected to take two years.

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