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Greenwich Market plans 'have support of traders'
Owners of Greenwich Market say they have had big support for their new plans - and promise to keep its independent spirit alive.
Greenwich Hospital, a naval charity which owns the market, have scaled back previous controversial and comprehensive redevelopment plans in favour of "enhancing" the world famous market.
The market roof structure will be kept but relaid with new timber and glass, floor cobbles will be restored and levelled, plus new retail provided at a restored banana warehouse in Durnford Street - along with new "strong, independent restaurants" next door
And the biggest change will be Fry's Court, currently a "chaotic" storage area but set to become a space for people to sit down and eat hot food from a new outdoor pavilion area.
Greenwich Hospital property manager Gillie Bexson explained they wanted to improve the shopping and restaurants that Greenwich has to offer.
She said: "The whole reason behind doing the work to the market is to improve the environment for traders, retailers and visitors.
"It's important, where we can, to take buildings back and enhance them for the better. It's not our intention to destroy what we've proudly built."
She added: "Greenwich is important to Greenwich Hospital and we're now in a position where are target is to enhance and improve our buildings as and when we can."
Set to last 18-months, the project will be split across four phases - including an estimated six months when some traders will be moved into a temporary market at Fry's Court.
Ms Bexson said rents would not go up because of it, and the charity was poised to unveil some new names for the town centre - including replacing the closed down Mambo Latino with a Buenos Aires steakhouse.
And she pointed to the recent success of a market fashion show and food festival as a way forward - with the possibility of a special event for the forthcoming Tall Ships Regatta.
She said: "I'm very keen to have more events in the evenings. But in order to do that we need better lighting."
Greenwich Hospital says 185 people have signed a petition in support of the plans - set to be decided on by a council planning committee in early April. If approved, work could begin in September.
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