WORK to demolish a market in Cheshire badly damaged by fire has taken a step closer.

Cheshire West and Chester Council has been working hard to continue with plans for Northwich Outdoor Market following the fire on 3 January, which damaged the building beyond repair.

The council has now received approval from its insurers to proceed with a full demolition of the market.

A planning application for the demolition phase has now been submitted and the council, along with their demolition team, is currently putting a programme together for the work.

Both the indoor and outdoor markets form part of the Weaver Square masterplan, which is still in development.

The council will be engaging with both businesses and residents once in a position to do so and safe methods of engagement can be identified.

This will also help shape the medium and long term options for the covered market site.

Councillor Richard Beacham, cabinet member for housing, regeneration and growth, said: “I know how important it is for residents and businesses around Weaver Square that the damaged market building is sensitively cleared as soon as possible.

"The building’s shell is a sad reminder of what happened earlier this year, but for businesses in the square and in the indoor market that will want to re-open following the lockdown, it is important that we are making good progress.

"During the pandemic the investigations on site have been concluded and with approval from insurers we are able to proceed to the next phase.

“We understand that this has been an extremely stressful and difficult time for traders and we will continue to offer our support to them and keep them informed along the way.”