A STREET food market will be coming to Batley as part of the rebirth of an empty shopping precinct.
The Press revealed in April that Batley Shopping Centre on Alfreds’ Way will reopen as ‘Batley Plaza’, with 24 retail and food units following a complete redesign of the 40-year-old site.
It has now been revealed that planning will be submitted for a large urban street food market, adding to plans that were originally approved in February.
The currently unoccupied centre, including the adjoining parade of shops along Commercial Street which houses businesses such as Specsavers and Fultons Foods, has been bought by Z&F Properties Ltd, a development firm based near Wetherby.
The company bought the site from previous owners Tesco in August last year.
‘Batley Plaza’ was due to open in July, but the new plans have pushed the completion date back until November. Once opened the Plaza will boast a cafe and three different sizes of unit, aimed at new businesses and established firms wanting to expand.
Businessman Zahid Iqbal said completion of the food market would leave Batley “punching well above its weight”.
He said: “Originally our plans were to open just the inside and do stage two as the outside, but we decided then to amalgamate both, so both stages are opening in November.
“Hopefully in the next two weeks we’ll be submitting planning for what was to be stage three, which we’re hoping to have open in November as well, which is a very large urban street food market.”
Mr Iqbal says Batley’s street market will compare with some of the biggest in Yorkshire. “The street market is something that has really got a lot of interest, this will be an indoor and an outdoor street food market that will be open seven days a week. It’s going to appeal to people from all over West Yorkshire. Street food is the ‘in’ food at the moment.
“You’ve got Doncaster that have just opened their version, you’ve got a street food market at Trinity in Leeds.
“The fact that Doncaster spent £3.5 million building their street food market and Leeds had a budget of about £7 million, we’re bringing a street food market which is comparable to them in Batley.”
Eighteen of the units inside ‘Batley Plaza’ have already been let to businesses, leaving six still available.
The same number are available to let on the outside of the Plaza, with marketing starting just last week.