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Great Torrington Market House sparkles in time for Christmas

The refurbishment of Great Torrington Market House has been unveiled just in time for the Christmas markets and seasonal festivities. The Grade II* listed structure, which was built in 1842, has undergone a £200k facelift funded by a grant from the Governments Rural Prosperity Fund.

The refurbishment, which started in August, began in good weather but subsequent named storms and persistent rain that occurred as the clock ticked over to the autumn proved to be a challenge, particularly for the decorators working on the project. Despite this the project was delivered on time and executed largely by local contractors including WMI ironworks, North Devon Decorators, ZW Roofing and Advanced Scaffolding.

The works were scheduled in a manner to minimise disruption to local businesses and market users so that retail and business activities could continue. The careful renovations have brought key features of the building back to their full glory including the Bellcote structure, which was removed due to safety concerns following an inspection in 2021. The original market gates have also been refurbished while other works included repairs to the render, windows, parapet and roof area. Some minor additional works are still ongoing but overall the project is nearly complete. The move is a positive step forward in securing the future of the building as a town centre anchor point and a far cry from the building previously being placed on the “at risk register” by English Heritage. 

Torridge Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin – Ward Member and Lead Member for Culture and Community Engagement said:

“I’m really grateful to our officers and the contractors who worked on this project, who have taken a building that had become quite dilapidated and restored it to its former glory. It now shines as a gateway to the pannier market and I know that the traders and shop owners are very happy with the results. It’s given the whole town centre a lift and will hopefully attract greater footfall and spending in the town.”