Improvements to Sunderland's Jacky Whites Market 'will not see an expansion', say council chiefs
Up to £400,000 has been allocated in Sunderland City Council’s latest spending plans for the traditional indoor shopping space.
But following criticism over the lack of detail provided on what the cash will actually pay for, civic centre chiefs have offered more clarity on what shoppers can expect to see from any works.
“It’s not an expansion,” said Jon Ritchie, the city council’s executive director of corporate services, “it’s to make it more hospitable and improve the quality of the market to ensure income is maintained.
“It’s a general refurbishment, rather than doing something materially different to what is there now.”
Mr Ritchie was speaking at a meeting of the city council’s Scrutiny Co-ordinating Committee.
He was responding to questions from opposition councillor Niall Hodson, leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat group, who has previously asked for ‘clarity on the improvements being made at not inconsiderable expense’.
Coun Hodson added: “I understand upgrades to businesses wouldn’t necessarily come to the committee, but if it’s just a straight forward refurbishment I think we should be able to know.”
The market, which is located in the Bridges Shopping Centre, is run by the council and according to the council’s capital spending programme for 2020/21 – 2023/24 the cash will ‘ improve the physical fabric and viability of the market and provide an enhanced provision for traders and visitors’.