AN HISTORIC former butchers’ shop at the Covered Market is being transformed into three new units.

The units, previously let as one large workspace to John Lindsey & Son Butchers, were originally built in about 1849 and are amongst the earliest surviving stalls in the 18th century market.

The city centre attraction was first established to get messy food stalls off the streets.

READ AGAIN: A fishmonger is returning to Oxford's Covered Market

Landlords the city council and Oxford Preservation Trust are working together to restore the former butchers’ shop.

Oxford Mail:

The restoration will see the modern brick extension and signage removed to open up views through the Covered Market.

And as each layer of history is peeled back, the work is expected to reveal the original Victorian colour scheme, which is likely to be used again.

READ AGAIN: Beer is flowing at micropub in the Covered Market

This is the latest empty unit at the market to be divided up and work will start within months once planning permission has been approved.

The policy decision has prompted new arrivals and pop-up stores - David Witts of Pershore Foods is about to open a new fishmongers in the former Haymans unit.

Oxford Mail:

Chris Gardner, 40, from Summertown, who works at Bonners fruit and veg stall, said: “I’m glad empty units are being divided up -it’s much better than leaving them empty - and you could get three new businesses coming in.

“Another fresh food producer would be great - perhaps the market could fit in another butcher.”

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The restoration will be funded by Oxford Preservation Trust, with the support of the William Delafield Trust, and Oxford City Council.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Preservation Trust submitted a planning application for the project last week.

Following a series of recent openings, just four of the Covered Market’s 63 units (6.3 per cent) are currently vacant.

The council is investing £3.1m into the Covered Market to secure its long-term future.

The investment includes £1.8m to secure the roof for another 60 to 80 years, and £1.3m for internal refurbishment.

Debbie Dance, director of Oxford Preservation Trust, said: “We wanted to demonstrate our support for Oxford Covered Market, which is one of Oxford’s most important heritage assets and is dear to all our hearts.

“We know that these are amongst the oldest units in the Covered Market, and they have some lovely features and original structures inside."

Oxford Mail:

Mary Clarkson, city council executive board member for culture and city centre, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be working with Oxford Preservation Trust to restore some of the oldest units in the Covered Market.”

Paul Birtles, who runs The Garden of Oxford flower shop, and is spokesman for the Covered Market Tenants’ Association, said: “It will be fascinating to see the plans unfold, and I hope the project captures the imagination of visitors. We look forward to seeing the refurbished units let to new tenants in the not too distant future.”

Oxford Mail:

Other businesses which have recently opened include Blue Blood sports store, The Oxford Soap Company and Fedele Oxford leather store.

READ MORE: New leather store opens at Covered Market

A micropub selling craft beer called Teardrop Bar has also opened in the market.