THE Covered Market’s salmon pink roof could be painted a different colour as part of a £3m scheme to revamp the historic attraction.

Discussions have been taking place inside the town hall but a decision has not yet been taken on whether to stick to salmon pink or go for something new - possibly blue or green.

Oxford Mail:

About £1.8m is being spent by landlords the city council on refurbishing external roofing but a further £1.3m is being spent on improvements inside, including the cost of painting the roof panels.

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Graham MacDonald, of iScream gelateria, said: “We welcome any any improvements - I think the salmon pink is quite unique and personally I would love it if it stayed - the tourists are always taking photos of it.

Oxford Mail:

“You see green and blue everywhere but not salmon pink.

“I’m not aware that the traders have been formally consulted on this yet - it will be interested to see what they think.”

Mary Clarkson, city councillor for culture and city centre, confirmed the salmon pink colour scheme, featuring white beams, could change.

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She added: “We are going to have a proper discussion about the pros and cons of keeping it as it is or thinking about whether another colour might be more attractive.

“We will consult the traders in due course and ask members of the public what they think.

“Of course if we kept it salmon pink that would be quicker.

“I think we will be limited to a certain number of heritage colours - bright purple would be ruled out.”

Oxford Mail:

The roof has a timber frame and is constructed from traditional Welsh Slate, and cast iron trusses and tie beams. Work over the next four years will include refurbishing and replacing the slating and timberwork, and external decorations.

Discussions have been taking place inside the town hall but a decision has not yet been taken on whether to stick to salmon pink or go for something new - possibly blue or green.

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It is understood that there are only a limited number of choices which are deemed ‘heritage colours’.

About £1.3m is due to be spent on internal refurbishment, decorations and flooring and money has also been invested in dividing up large units to attract new tenants.

This policy has led to the arrival of Pershore Foods last month and the return of a fishmonger to the market following Haymans departure has been praised by traders.

The council is also working with Oxford Preservation Trust to preserve original and historic features in the former Lindsey’s butchers unit.

As the roof restoration project is highly specialised, the council opted to hire Croft Building & Conservation Ltd to carry out work.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Covered Market first opened in 1774, and was gradually roofed over during the last 50 years of the 19th century. The structure is not one single roof but more than a dozen gable roofs.

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Paul Birtles, chairman of the Covered Market Tenants' Association, who runs The Garden of Oxford flower shop, said: "As traders we are proud to be in this historic building and are delighted that the council is considering the repaint of the roof.

"It’s a complicated issue as this is a listed building. We look forward to discussing it with the council when the conservation issues have been resolved and some specific options are available to discuss."