PLANS to revamp Cardigan’s historic Markethall received a thumbs-up when they went on show to the public for the first time.

A public consultation drop-in event organised by Cardigan Building Preservation Trust in the town’s Guildhall proved popular, with the vast majority welcoming the proposed £1.7m project.

Trust members and an architect were on hand to outline the scheme to local residents and traders.

Part of the funding has already been secured for the iconic Grade 2* listed building, including the current ‘development stage’ thanks to £109,000 provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Welsh Government Rural Communities-Rural Development Programme.

Further applications are in the pipeline to tap into European and Heritage Lottery grants. If everything goes according to plan, it is hoped to start building work in July next year, with the Markethall closed for 12 months and the traders relocated during that period.

Trust secretary Lindsay Sheen said: “We did not expect so many people to attend and were really pleased with the response.

“It shows how important the building is to the people of Cardigan and the overwhelming feedback on the plans was favourable. We also got some really informative comments on minor changes we could also incorporate.”

The major change to the building will be at the rear, providing a new access block and lift to all levels, while also getting rid of the 1950s staircase in the centre of the Markethall.

Cilla Lewis, of Caffi Carn Alw based in the Markethall, welcomed the scheme, saying: “The plans looked great and I think everyone agrees it can only be a big asset to the town once the work is carried out.”

Town and county councillor Clive Davies was one of those who visited the event and said: “It was an excellent exhibition on the ambitions and ideas for our jewel of a market, which is unique in its style and architecture throughout the UK.”