THERE is just under a month for people to have their say on a ‘master plan’ to transform Oxford’s Covered Market.

A public consultation is open until October 19, with proposed new measures including a ‘public square’ in the heart of the market and a ‘pedestrian-friendly’ space in Market Street.

Oxford City Council is gathering views for its draft master plan, which sets out the multimillion pound regeneration.

Planters, seating and outdoor stalls could be introduced immediately outside the Market Street entrances, making it ‘an attractive, green and accessible space to relax in the city centre’.

It will rely on creating a period in the day when vehicles, apart from emergency services, will not be able to access this space.

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The market could also have a ‘flexible event space’ or ‘public square’, opening out onto Market Street, plus improved entrances in Cornmarket Street and High Street.

Other proposals for the Grade II listed building, include essential improvements such as to drainage.

City councillor Imogen Thomas said: “With one foot in the past and an eye on the future, the master plan aims to set out the biggest improvement in the Covered Market for a long time, both managing positive change in the market, while protecting its unique historic status in the city. 

“We aim to draw more people to the area and make it easier for them to spend more time there, which in turn supports existing traders and encourages new businesses to join the Covered Market.

“We have been engaging with traders and other stakeholders already and now want to hear the views of local people. 

“Our proposals aim to support the market’s successful long-term future and will cement its place as one of Oxford’s must-see destinations.” 

Oxford Mail: File photo of the Covered Market. Picture: David FlemingFile photo of the Covered Market. Picture: David Fleming

A consultation on extending the opening hours of the market closed last month.

The city council consultation ran from July 26 to August 23, with the local authority describing the potential trial as an ‘opportunity for the market to contribute to Oxford city centre’s night-time economy, as well as provide an opportunity for those keen to shop after work’.

Responses to that consultation will feed into the wider master plan.

Senior officers at the city council have extended the master plan consultation by 10 days, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

This is to allow people interested in taking part to ‘engage and respond without clashing with the period of mourning’.

Public events which had been set for Wednesday, Thursday and September 21 will be rescheduled for later in the month.

To take part in the online consultation, visit:

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

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