13 May 2011
Last updated at 16:23
Leicester's newly elected mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, has officially launched a new open-air area in the city's market. The £600,000 refurbishment provides gazebo-style stalls and a seating area.
The 20 temporary stands that make up Market Corner replace 37 fixed stalls next to the historic Corn Exchange Building. They will be used for arts, crafts and collectables from Mondays to Thursdays, with local produce for sale on Fridays and Saturdays.
Sir Peter described the market as a "tremendous" asset for the city and county, and said he would be "making sure it remains fit for use in the decades and centuries to come and that it remains right here in the centre of Leicester".
Rose Burgess, 62, from Leicester said she was very impressed with the new market area. "There's some beautiful food available," she said. Her husband Dave, 67, agreed: "It's brilliant. I just wish I hadn’t already eaten lunch."
Ian Jalland, owner of Melton Mowbray company Brockleby's, makers of award-winning pies, said: "It gives us a great opportunity to sell our products in Leicester every week, rather than once a month at the farmers' market."
Amanda Fernandes recently launched her new Indian and Goan cuisine restaurant, Anjuna, in Leicester. Having a stall provides her with a chance to promote the venture. "I'm Leicester born and bred, and this is a great opportunity to be involved in the market and its future developments".
Janette Bambury, from Leicester, was munching her way through a cup of onion bhajis as she explored the new market area. "It's lovely – very bright and cheerful. I do regularly use the market, more so since retiring."
Dharmesh Lakhani, from Bobby’s Restaurant, was tempting new customers at the launch with tasters of their Indian cuisine. He said: "We're proud to bring a taste of Leicester's Golden Mile into the city centre at Market Corner."
Geoff Yeowart said the market was a first for his Leicester-based catering company Simphilly, who usually work for corporate events. "The biggest challenge is working out what people want, but Leicester loves meringues," he said.