CARDIGAN’S historic Market Hall will continue to be a thriving market place, instead of a heritage building at risk once its £2.7 million restoration is completed – hopefully by March 2023.

That is the bold pledge of trustees as progress on an extensive revamp of a flagship building which has been a key part of town life since 1860 was unveiled today.

Funding – provided by the Welsh Government and Ceredigion County Council among others – will cover structural repairs and urgent remedial works, whilst maintaining and enhancing the ‘unique’ market building.

This latest phase of work, headed by Cardigan Building Preservation Trust, follows their major restoration of the Guildhall, Corn Exchange and Courtyard a decade ago.

Works include major repairs to the roof and walls to address severe water incursion, installation of a heating system together with solar panels, and upgrading of the electrical system.

A new entrance block at the rear will improve access direct from the car park to both market floors and the High Street, and include a lift and public toilets.

Market stalls will also be upgraded and renewed while trustees say traders’ jobs will be safeguarded and trading opportunities provided for new businesses.

The story of the Market Hall’s heritage will also be told, highlighting the rich social history of the building, while creating a heritage attraction for locals and visitors alike.

Work has begun on both the Lower and Upper Market levels. Scaffolding has been erected both internally and externally in readiness for re-roofing, re-glazing and addressing structural problems.

On the lower ground floor, slate flags are being lifted ready for storage, so that under floor heating can be installed and pipe work upgraded. The flags that are in a suitable condition will be re-laid on the aisles between the stalls.

“The project will restore and improve the whole building, while preserving its unique architectural heritage and ultimately, once the work is done, the building will also have true economic and social sustainability,” said trustee Lindsay Sheen.

“Most importantly, the Market Hall will continue to be a thriving market place, instead of a heritage building at risk.

“The market traders have been essential contributors to the overall project and the Trust has greatly appreciated their patience and co-operation during the re-location period.

“They now invite their customers, old and new, to continue supporting these unique businesses while relocated at Quay Street, Canolfan Teifi and The Guildhall Courtyard.”