ARCHITECTS have been commissioned to draw up plans for a £1.5 million revamp of York's Newgate Market.

City of York Council agreed to release the money from its Economic Infrastructure Fund last year after speaking to shoppers and traders, and Bauman Lyons Architects will now work on detailed proposals for the refurbishment.

The firm won a York Design Award, in the new build category, in 2009 for its work on the Arc Light Centre in York. Prototype stalls which are designed to be more flexible for traders will be used in a trial, with a consultation on the designs being held ahead of the refurbishment work next year. The scheme is intended to be completed in time for next year's St Nicholas Fayre.

Coun Sonja Crisp, the council's cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: "York's market has operated for many hundreds of years and is part of the city-centre's commercial success.

"A new, updated market will enhance the overall attractiveness and competitiveness of central York. Bauman Lyons have been tasked to create a plan which will lift the market's appearance, increase its visibility and improve footfall throughout the whole site, while diversifying the trader offer and making more imaginative use of the space."

Coun Crisp said the council hoped the scheme would mean shoppers using the market more often and spending more, while also creating new jobs. Irene Bauman, of Bauman Lyons, said: "We are proud to be offered the opportunity to work with the market traders and council officers and hope to jointly develop exciting and robust proposals."

York has had a market for centuries at various city-centre sites, and it was moved from Parliament Street to Newgate in 1964. It has 100 stalls and was last refurbished in 1991.