Barnstaple Pannier Market expected to reopen this summer


The Barnstaple Pannier Market is expected to reopen in summer 2023, following extensive regeneration works as part of the town’s Market Quarter project. 

The market, which has been a cornerstone of the local community for generations, has been closed for several months as part of North Devon Council’s £11 million investment, which includes four regeneration projects in the town centre. 

Improvements to the market include:

  • refurbishment of the market street toilets
  • relocation of the office to the old Pannier Market café
  • repairs to the roof including gutters and windows
  • extensive internal and external redecoration and repairs
  • glazing of doors to Butchers Row
  • refurbishment of the corn store into an insulated/self-contained space and traders’ storage area
  • relocation of storage/bins area to rear wall adjacent to Queens Theatre
  • external refurbishment works to The Guildhall

The aim of the works is to create a modern, vibrant market that appeals to both locals and visitors alike, while still maintaining the historic character and charm of the original market. The improvements made will enable the market to be used in a more flexible way, facilitating a more varied and ambitious programme of markets, cultural events and community gatherings.

Head of Property, Place and Regeneration at North Devon Council, Sarah Jane Mackenzie-Shapland says: “The regeneration works are truly transforming the market, making it a building the North Devon community can be really proud of.

“Repairing and refurbishing the Pannier Market was always going to be challenging due to the complexity of the project and the historic fabric of the building. The poor condition of some of the timbers has meant that we will be reopening later than we had hoped.

“We regret the disruption the current closure is causing, however carrying out these works will enable us to ensure the building is kept in good condition going forward. 

“To reflect the feedback we have heard from the community, we have worked hard to ensure that the market retains its unique character and charm while offering the modern conveniences that people expect. We are confident that the changes will be very much worth the wait and traders, locals and visitors will be impressed by the new improvements and facilities. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the market this summer.”

As well as the improvements to the Pannier Market, the Market Quarter includes projects to:

  • Restore and renovate the historic 36/37 Boutport Street into an exciting mixed-use development of workspace and town centre living, and creating a vital pedestrian gateway to the town
  • Pedestrianise (10am-4pm) Butchers Row, allowing traders to spill onto the street and visitors to eat and drink
  • Improve access to the Queen Street car park and redesign the layout to improve legibility into the town

Barnstaple’s Market Quarter project was developed following consultation with local people and the business community to enhance both the quality of the town centre experience and the variety of offer, improving access via all modes of transport. The council received £6.5m from central government through their Future High Streets Fund programme, with £4.4m match funding provided by the council.

An exact reopening date for the market is yet to be confirmed and will be subject to ongoing developments, however, the council is hopeful that the building will be able to reopen in the coming months, just in time for the busy summer season. 

In the meantime, the Pannier Market team are reminding individuals that many of their market traders can be found in their temporary homes, in Green Lanes Shopping Centre, at the entrance to the market and behind M&S near the Cattle Market Car Park. 

More details on the Market Quarter project can be found at stay up-to-date with the works, you can follow the council’s social channels and the Barnstaple Pannier Market’s Facebook page.

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