CITY leaders have unveiled designs showing how Newgate Market could look after its £1.5m redevelopment.

Prototype new stalls will be unveiled this weekend, following an 18-month consultation with traders, residents and businesses.

A City of York Council spokeswoman said: "All those consulted agreed that the south-eastern end of the market needed to become more vibrant and that music and entertainment and more food on offer would enhance the market atmosphere.

"In addition, improved signage, promotion and information about the market was needed for traders and city centre users."

The council said improved infrastructure such as drainage and storage, with a better roof covering and lighting was also planned.

The spokeswoman added: "The new canopies have been designed to have a better, more weather resistant fit, while translucent fabric options are being trialled to allow more natural light – but not the heat – through in summer."

Councillor Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said the new designs aimed to encourage shoppers to move more freely and widely through the market, with a "broader range of stall types to further improve the breadth of shopping".

She added: "They will be encouraged to come more often, stay longer and so increase their spend, with an improved food offer and seating areas where live music will be encouraged.”

The council said research last autumn showed agreement that the market needed ‘sprucing up’, but some traders today aired concerns.

Colin McCormick, who has run his greetings cards and jewellery stall for six years, said: "I think they are spending too much. We don't need a lot changing, all we really asked for was better signage and better covering on the roofs.

"We've been told that from July 5 to November we are going out on to Parliament Street while they refurbish it, and everyone has been offered two stalls each.

"We trade off six at the moment, so how are we going to get that down to two?

"We also haven't been given much information at all about what will happen after the refurb."

Abby Cotia, who has run clothing stalls for nearly 40 years, added: "When we come back to Newgate after the refurb we have to re-apply for our stalls with no guarantees that we'll get as many as we had before or be in the same place.

"Customers know where we are, I have been here nearly 40 years. It is worrying for us not knowing what will happen as this is our livelihood.

"We are here for the purpose of business, not something that just looks flashy and leaves us going home empty handed."

Steve Franks, who runs Steve's Shoes, said: "We are encouraged to build up our business, which I have done from one to four stalls, and now I'm going to have to go back down to two stalls despite investing in stock.

"If this scheme improves the market then that's great, but I don't think it needs £1.5 million spending on it."