Two new pavilions would be built in early 19th century Grainger Market under plans

(1) Grainger Market ©FaulknerBrowns + Pillar Visuals - LR

How the refurbished market would look viewed down its main arcade

Faulkner Browns Architects has unveiled proposals for a renovation of Newcastle’s grade I-listed Grainger Market.

The practice, which is based in the city, has been appointed by the local council to restore the glass-roofed building and design two new pavilions at each end of its main arcade.

The market was built in 1835 to the designs of John Dobson, the architect behind much of Newcastle’s neoclassical city centre including its grade I-listed railway station.

Under Faulkner Browns’ plans, it would be provided with more flexibility to enable it to host events and extend its opening hours.

Both of the new pavilions would contain retail space and stepped seating for events, and also provide new protected routes down to an air raid shelter beneath the market. The proposed structures would feature arched forms and decorative balustrade patterns referencing the design and proportions of the market.

(2) Grainger Market - Nelson St Pavilion ©FaulknerBrowns + Pillar Visuals - LR

One of the proposed new pavilions

The scheme would also see the removal of freestanding retail units added in the 1970s which have been vacated by traders who have moved to newly renovated units elsewhere in the market. The freed up space will be used to provide additional seating.

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Other changes would include a new terrazzo floor through the main arcade, new lighting and signage, glazed doors, refurbished toilets and a general redecoration of the market’s alleys and rows, along with public realm improvements to surrounding streets.

Tania Love, associate partner at the practice, said “Grainger Market is one of the best, if not the best, of the UK’s purpose-designed indoor markets. 

“It has successfully traded for nearly 200 years, so our approach to the renovation has been to focus on careful interventions that will hopefully help its independent traders thrive for many more years to come. 

Grainger market shutterstock

How the market currently looks

“We celebrate the market’s heritage by looking back to look forwards - colours, patterns and materials of the existing building are reflected in new structures, finishes and facilities. 

“Within the arcade, pavilions have been designed to better support the market as a social destination, somewhere to sit, to meet while eating and shopping, but also to host daytime and night-time events, from fashion shows and live music to pop-up trader demonstrations and dinner events.”

The practice is working with Aura building consultants on the scheme, which has been supported by an £8.2m grant from the government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Other big Faulkner Browns projects in Newcastle include a refurbishment of the city’s grade II*-listed Civic Centre, which was named as one of three winners of RIBA’s North East Awards in 2022.