• The refurbished market will reopen 36 years after it first opened in 1938
  • The project has been funded by investments from the government’s Towns Fund programme, the Be Lincoln Town Deal, the City of Lincoln Council and Historic England
  • Lindum Construction finished work on the market refurbishment at the end of 2023, with further work to the outside paving area continuing into 2024. 

City of Lincoln Council’s refurbished Cornhill Market, previously known as Central Market, will welcome traders this spring with a diverse range of products and food.

From Friday 17 May 2024, the market will host an official opening celebration event, exactly 86 years after it first opened in 1938. The celebrations will continue on Saturday 18 May, with delicious local food demonstrations in City Square.

Funded by a £5.9 million investment from the government’s Towns Fund programme through the ‘Be Lincoln Town Deal’, £1.9 million from City of Lincoln Council, and additional funding of £918,000 from Historic England, the major regeneration works for the building were completed by Lindum at the end of 2023, including:

  • The opening up of the blind arches on the north and east elevations
  • A new mezzanine floor overlooking the market hall, a space to enjoy food and drink
  • Replacement roofing and glazed lantern
  • Demolition of the butcher’s corridor to the south of the building and the construction of a new two storey extension to accommodate a new restaurant with a roof terrace
  • New heating and lighting in the building
  • Freestanding stalls in the interior space of a contemporary, minimal design for local businesses to promote local produce and an area within the centre of the Market Hall to accommodate seating for the associated food outlets within the stalls
  • Unisex toilets including disabled and baby changing facilities
  • Repaving and enhancing external areas in City Square have also been completed, to encourage more visitors to use the space in events and activities

All of the market stalls were created in Lindum’s in-house joinery workshop, alongside 11 new doors.

Cornhill market as seen from the mezzanine

This exciting regeneration project will create a perfect blend of a traditional city marketplace and a high-quality food hall, known for its exceptional produce and the unforgettable experience it offers.

Naomi Tweddle, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth said: “It’s fantastic that the market will welcome traders open for business this May, and for members of the public to see all the hard work that has gone into restoring and transforming the building.

“We’re confident the new market has such a diverse retail, food and drink offering that residents and visitors will enjoy, while contributing to the economic growth of the city.”

Traders announced

With hundreds of traders interested in pitching up in the refurbished building, 10 have now been announced as the first confirmed stallholders, with more to be revealed over the next few weeks. These include:

  • Corner Farm: Catering service, providing satisfying meals such as jacket potatoes and salads
  • Stokes: Award winning family business in sourcing, roasting, blending & supplying coffee
  • Bella Di Casa: Authentic, homemade Italian ice cream (gelato)
  • Tick King: Specialises in watch repairs and watch servicing
  • Bradford Plants: A Lincolnshire based husband and wife duo selling a variety of plants
  • Oatz and Co: Sweet treats baked with oats, including vegan and gluten free options
  • Fabrick Tattoos Embroidery: Alternative embroidery, crafts and sustainable clothing
  • Bubble Kiss: Exciting bubble teas and mouthwatering bubble waffles to accompany
  • Lincs Mo Mo: Pop up food vendor specialising in tasty dumplings called mo mos
  • The Cookie People: Cookies, cookie dough and drinks to satisfy any sweet tooth

Lindum Group MD  Edward Chambers was at the newly refurbished market when the opening date was announced. He said: “It is brilliant news that we have an opening date for this fantastic new retail, food, and beverage offering within Lincoln. We heard today that the City of Lincoln Council has done an amazing job at finding independent local businesses to operate the various stalls and shops within the market, and will hit the ground running on the opening day.

“All of us at Lindum can’t wait to visit with our families and friends. Refurbishment projects are always tricky, as we never know what we’re going to find until the work begins, even more so with a heritage building. But our team, as well as the client team from the City of Lincoln Council, has done a great job at working through issues and making sure the project has been completed to a very high standard, on time, and within budget.”

Traders ready to move into the market

The market will run at full operation from 17 May, to coincide with Love Your Local Market Fortnight 2024. Opening hours will also be extended to reflect the changing demands of city centre activity, with a food and drink offer available on evenings, encouraging the evening and nightlife economy.

Liam Scully, Chair of the Be Lincoln Town Deal board said: “We’re thrilled to see another project supported by the Be Lincoln Town Deal come to completion, for the benefit of both the residents that live in the city and tourists that come to visit.

“The Town Deal funding has helped preserve and enhance the building’s features, such as bringing more light into the internal space and connecting it to the newly repaved City Square, which will be a vital space for events and outdoor dining by the river.”