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Call for urgent improvement work on Grade II listed Market Hall in Tenby

Tenby's market hall (Pic: Google Street View)

AN ICONIC seaside town’s historic market building – home of one of the oldest markets in Pembrokeshire – needs urgent attention to stop it deteriorating further, senior councillors will hear.

Concerns about the condition of Tenby’s Market Hall have previously been raised with local politicians and councillors, with the county council – which has responsibility for maintaining it – coming in for criticism.

The Grade II-listed Market Hall is believed to house one of the oldest markets still trading in the county, which can trace its first charter back to 1290.

A notice of motion on the hall, made by Tenby county councillor Micheal Williams, has been referred to the council’s Cabinet – meeting on September 4.

Pembrokeshire county councillor Michael Williams (Pic: Pembrokeshire County Council)

The notice of motion read: “That Pembrokeshire County Council initiate a full structural survey of Tenby market building to establish the condition of the building, together with an examination of its potential.

“The building is a listed building of considerable historical significance in the town centre, which has sadly lacked investment over many years.”

In his supporting submission, Cllr Williams says: “There is an urgent need to address the deteriorating condition of this iconic building which has lacked any meaningful investment for many years.”

He adds: “Currently the roof leaks, with traders having to frequently mop up rainwater, and the existing roof ventilation does not work, meaning traders have to operate in extremes of temperature.

“The upper floor, which at one time served as the magistrates’ court is difficult to utilise effectively, and currently and represents a considerable lost opportunity.

“There doesn’t appear to be a shortage of small businesses that would like to trade within the building, but I am aware of some who are deterred by the condition of the building and a perception that PCC is not committed to its continued operation.”

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A report for Cabinet members says, following a 2022 survey, an estimate has been provided, centred around a requirement for the replacement of the roof.

“Given the existing roof is inaccessible for inspection and maintenance, and with limited environmental performance, it is not regarded as feasible to simply provide a like-for-like replacement.  As such it is also likely that the estimated costs would be substantially higher to create a modern, accessible roof, which improves the ability to maintain and utilise the building.”

The report for members concludes by saying that “until a review of options for the market and an understanding of demand has been undertaken it is not possible to assess a business case for the wider improvement work nor how any works might best be funded”.

It is recommended that Cabinet does not support the request for a full structural survey, but does support an examination of the potential of the Market Hall.