CONSTRUCTION work on Caerphilly’s multi-million-pound market has been pushed back to early summer, but “plans are progressing”.
New visuals for the container-style market – now named “Ffos Caerffili” – have been released. Located on Park Lane, it is described as a “unique space” where you can shop, work or meet up.
‘Ffos’ translates to ‘moat’ in English, and the name aims to link the market with the town’s “rich heritage and iconic medieval fortress that is Caerphilly Castle”.
Ffos Caerffili will have 28 units in total, which will be home to a mix of restaurants, bars, independent shops and offices – similar to the set-up at Goodsheds in Barry.
Previously, the council said construction would start in March, but the tendering process has caused delays and this is now expected to start in May or June.
Deputy leader of the council, Councillor Jamie Pritchard, said: “Ffos Caerffili will be a place that celebrates the spirit of small businesses and local traders. A community-minded market offering delicious culinary experiences and a welcome change of pace.
“We’re all really excited to see the Caerphilly 2035 project begin to come to life and our latest CGIs share our vision for the look and feel for the market.”
In a video posted to Facebook, Cllr Lindsay Whittle criticised the spend on the market, which is expected to be £4.65 million.
The leader of the Plaid Cymru group said: “I’m a little concerned now to learn that the price for the shipping container market – just nine shipping containers mark you – has now risen to £4,650,000 and rising – who knows by the time they complete this, that figure may be higher, you know what local governments are like.”
Funding for the market is split between the council (£1.25 million), the Welsh Government (£2.69 million) and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (£700,000).
In the council’s planning application for the market it states there will be 33 shipping containers.
Minister for Climate Change, Julie James, said: “Through our Transforming Towns programme, we are providing £100 million between 2022 and 2025 to further support the economic and social recovery of our town and city centres across Wales.
“Our town centre first policy, embedded in Wales’ national development plan Future Wales, means that town and city centre sites should be the first consideration for all decisions on the location of workplaces and services.”
How to apply for a stall in the market?
The council has said it is “keen” to receive expressions of interest from local traders who want to secure a stall.
Dedicated contact details are expected to be made available on Caerphilly 2035’s website soon, but in the meantime traders can contact the council directly through the council’s website.
The council said the cost to rent a unit in Ffos Caerffili hasn’t been confirmed.
The day-to-day operations of the market will be sub-contracted to “an experienced appointed operator”, which is yet to be chosen. The tender for this is expected to be released in the next couple of months.
What will the market look like?
As customers enter the market from Cardiff Road they will be faced with shops on their left, a bar area in the middle and seating to their right.
The council’s planning application states: “The ‘street’ of retail units to the left will have suspended ‘bus-stop’ style signage, creating an exciting and engaging scene, advertising the range and variety of retails on offer.”
Food and drink stations will be located on the upper floor, with covered seating. Additionally, four of the containers will be used as office spaces aimed at start-up businesses.
The roof of the market is proposed to have a range of finishes including a green roof blanket which will catch rain water, a canopy, and container roof.
External space for pop-up stalls is also included in the plans, which would be used for music concerts or during events such as the Big Cheese or the annual Christmas market.
A new pedestrian path could be created to lead from the market to Dafydd Williams park, which would “provide opportunities for functions to spill-out onto the park”.