Derby Market Hall

Rejuvenating Derby Market Hall

Home Projects Rejuvenating Derby Market Hall
Grade II

listed building


blue whales (total scaffolding weight)



Derby Market Hall

Helping to create an attractive, flexible cultural destination to re-energise economies

We were appointed by Derby City Council as the contractor for the two-stage renovation project to transform Derby’s Grade II Listed Victorian Market Hall into a contemporary, vibrant retail destination.

The project was split into two phases to provide maximum flexibility to the Client and end users.

The first phase included erecting a protection scaffold to both the internal and external areas to allow the market to continue operating during the survey period and the repairing and restoration phase. The works included extensive heritage glazed roof replacement works, copper roof cladding and stone and brick work. The second phase will focus on an internal and external reconfiguration, which will transform the look and feel of the Market Hall.

Once completed in May 2024 the Market Hall will complement the emerging Cultural Hub in Derby, creating an attractive, flexible cultural destination which will re-energise the economies in the Market Place and the wider city centre.



Our team had to overcome complex logistical and safety challenges from the start of the contract. During the first phase of the project, the extensive roof replacement works, the site sat directly above the live market floor which was in constant use by market traders and had to remain fully operational. 

We were required to build an impressive scaffold structure to allow access to all areas of the dome and a weatherproof tent to ensure the market traders were not affected by the roofing works. The scaffolding was designed to allow the internal structure to be built off the top of a crash deck and to minimise disruption to the traders the team installed the structure at night over a 14-week period.

Not one single day of trading was lost throughout the works and footfall at the market increased with the scaffolding allowing the market to stay open during high winds. The complex structure was made up of 33,800 individual scaffold tubes,100,000 fittings, 8,000 scaffold boards, 7 miles of beams and 892 tonnes of scaffolding which if laid out would reach all the way to Manchester and weighed the equivalent of 8.5 blue whales. The 62 miles worth of scaffolding enabled the delicate process of restoring the building to continue.

Due to the live environment below the work, we were unable to use the standard chemical cleaning method to clean the stones and bricks so had to use a specialist water-free method of deep cleaning called poultice cleaning, one of the gentlest and safest ways of cleaning stonework.

The project was recognised for its project excellence by the Considerate Constructors Scheme and was awarded Gold in 2019 and Silver in 2020.

Derby Market Hall


We are committed to supporting the social enterprise sector and have a target to spend a further £25m with the sector by 2025. We have used a range of social enterprises to supply site services and to recycle materials including Nuneaton Signs, Recycling Lives and Community Wood Recycling.

We used reclaimed bricks on this project which involved a lengthy process to retrieve and match the bricks from the demolition yard so they could be reused on site. We also ensured that all concrete, timber, metal and steel was recycled to help reduce carbon emissions.

Refurbishment of a Grade II listed building

The regeneration works to transform Derby’s Grade II Listed Victorian Market Hall, which has been trading since 1866, into a contemporary retail destination was part of an overall vision for the area called Everything Derby which aimed to revitalise the city centre. As the building is Listed, every decision had to go through a strict approval process with the Conservation and English Heritage Officer at Derby City Council.

The existing dome roof was adapted and slatted grills were installed to facilitate the movement of air and smoke in and out of the building and glazing works were carried out ensuring the original detailing was upheld whilst installing the upgraded safety glass. We had to ensure we used specialist subcontractors to carry out the works to preserve the heritage of the site. A local steel fabricator FE Worthington was commissioned to manufacture the replacement roof finials to ensure they replicated those removed from the building. A member of the founding family, Frank Worthington came out of retirement to personally make the finials for the project.

Added support has been installed to the internal structure to complement the new roof design and the internal herringbone boarding has been repaired with all surfaces cleaned and decorated to revitalise the building whilst retaining its heritage.

Social Value

We believe that social value is the long-term, sustainable improvement for society that can be achieved by promoting positive social, economic and environmental impact. During this project, our team were commended by The Considerate Constructors Scheme for “the numerous goodwill deeds that were undertaken by the site team from helping to erect the city’s Christmas tree to providing employment opportunities to disadvantaged people”. 

To support employment and training for local people, seven apprentices were employed including; two scaffolders, a roofer, a joiner, a stonemason, an electrician and a painter and decorator who was promoted to Supervisor during his time working on the project.

It has been a privilege to work on the restoration and transformation of such an iconic and unique building, maintaining its historic charm but also bringing it into the council’s overall modern vision for the revitalisation of the wider city centre.

Before this work on the roof was carried out, the Market Hall often had to close to customers for safety reasons if there was possibility of strong winds, snow, or heavy rain in case the glass windows came out of their frames. Along with the extensive restoration of the roof structure, all of these windows have now been replaced, meaning that closing the market and disrupting trade just for weather will no longer be necessary.”

John Carlin

Regional Director, Wates Construction

Derby Market Hall is one of the city’s most beautiful and prominent buildings, which connects key areas of our city centre.

As a Grade II listed building, it deserves tasteful and sympathetic attention to detail to its renovation. Quality takes time and we’re delighted to see that this striking copper roof has now been finished, which paves the way for the rest of the Market Hall’s transformation.

Soon we can move onto the internal renovation and give Derby a fantastic market, which is full of life and which will help draw people back into the heart of our city.”

Cllr. Mick Barker

Cabinet Member for Governance and Deputy Leader of Derby City Council

Contact us

Get in touch to chat about your construction project.