STACK has been confirmed as the ‘preferred operator’ for Leeds Markets’ outdoor food village

The plans for the outdoor ‘container-style’ venue were first proposed in 2022.

Plans for a new food village at Leeds Kirkgate Market have taken a ‘significant step forwards’ after Leeds City Council confirms that the preferred operator will be STACK.

The company responsible for shipping-container-style villages across the UK has expanded quickly since beginning in the North East in 2020 and already has developments (in varying stages) across Lincoln, Bishop Auckland, Middlesbrough, Whitley Bay, Durham, Carlisle, Northampton, Manchester, Wigan and Sheffield.

The company is reported to be one of three private operator that submitted formal bids to the council, and was chosen for ‘its rental offer and detailed proposals showing how the project would complement the market and generate new custom for existing traders.’

The development is hoped to boost footfall across the market as a whole and attract new customers to the area. This in turn would create new jobs and opportunities for independent traders across the city.

As the space is outdoors, it is also planned to operate into the evening, seven-days-a-week: an offer that is not currently available in indoor market traders.

The existing outdoor market space has space for a total of 185 stalls, with around 85 of them being filled on a typical day.

Currently less than half of the outdoor markets are used. / Image: Leeds City Council

The news follows a consultation exercise seeking people’s views on the proposals, which have been drawn up last year.

During this time over 2,000 online questionnaires were completed, finding that 71.5% of those participating supported the idea, and 91% would be ‘somewhat likely’ or ‘very likely’ to the rest of the market space if they were there to visit the new container-style market.

There’s also regeneration plans in the works to bring a new hotel and commercial units on the ground floor on the George Street side of the markets.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm STACK as our preferred operator for what will be, subject to the necessary planning and licensing approvals, a really exciting addition to Leeds Kirkgate Market.“STACK’s track record and proposals make it an ideal fit for a scheme that would complement other major improvements at the market – improvements that recently helped push monthly visitor numbers past 500,000.“Our ongoing investment in this important and historic retail destination means it is now well placed to play its part in powering the further regeneration of the eastern side of the city centre.“The council is also committed to continuing to work with the market’s existing traders to ensure they can reap the maximum benefit from the proposed food village.”

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Feature Image – Supplied, Leeds City Council

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