The refurbishment of Hereford Butter Market is a step closer as Herefordshire Council select a preferred bidder for the redevelopment of the iconic Hereford building.
Two final candidates presented their business case on Tuesday 9 June to a panel of councillors and officers from the council and Hereford City Council and local businessman Darren Sockett was selected as preferred bidder.
As well as ensuring the future of the market the council will receive payment for the site equivalent to the current market value.
Darren Sockett said: “I am delighted to receive the support from Herefordshire Council, Hereford City Council and the Butter Market Traders Association and to be entrusted with the future of the Butter Market.
All of the team here look forward to revitalising the Butter Market which will stay open for business, whilst we carry out our planned major improvements.
We have a great vision for the Butter Market which will be a source of new opportunities and a great destination for shoppers.”
Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member contracts and assets added: “We were very impressed with the business case presented by Darren and his future plans for the market. The council is keen to ensure the city centre remains a thriving shopping and visitor destination and Darren’s plans are very much aligned with this.”
The Butter Market, which currently offers fresh produce as well as other traditional retail stalls will be extended to offer a more diverse range of products and services; becoming a hub for small business start-ups and education.
Steve Kerry, Hereford City Council town clerk, said: “The City Council has been pleased to be involved in the selection of a preferred bidder for refurbishing the Butter Market and we support the choice of Darren Sockett. The Butter Market is a vital part of High Town and it is very good news that this project is proceeding.”
Antony Hill, chairman of the Butter Market independent traders association, said: “We welcome the news that Darren Sockett has been selected as the preferred bidder.
We are confident that Darren will have the best interests of the Butter Market traders at heart.”