A brewery is being lined up as a major feature in the second major redevelopment project at Melton Cattle Market.
Phase One saw £5.5 million invested to replace delapidated cattle sheds with a new state-of-the-art livestock building, which opened in May.
Ideas are still being considered for the second phase on the southern part of the site, with a food and drink hub looking the likely option.
Gilstream Markets, which leases the market from Melton Council, is in negotiations with local brewers Round Corner to be the ‘anchor tenant’ on the new development.
And the council is working to extend the lease on the southern site from five years to 20 years, in line with the arrangement for the northern part of the market where phase one was carried out.
A ‘letter of comfort’ is being drafted to confirm the council’s intention to extend the lease, which would see Gilstream operating the market until 2037.
Harry Rai, the council’s head of communities and neighbourhoods, said: “The southern part of the site is the area around where the Market Tavern pub is and the market stalls.
“The extended lease is needed to give security to the leaseholders so they can invest in the site.
“The brewery would be a new addition as one of the tenants and there will also be upgrades to some of the market buildings along Nottingham Road and the conferencing and banqueting suite.”
Concepts for phase two are still being drawn up, with the help of funding from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, with a proposed food and drink hub a frontrunner.
Mr Rai added: “The investment in Phase Two will be great for the branding of the market and the town and it will be unlocked by this longer lease arrangement, which would allow work to start later this year.”
Round Corner aims to brew crafted premium beers and ales
Talking about the plans to set up at Melton Cattle Market, the company said: “The opportunity to have our premises at the heart of the UK’s oldest and largest town centre agriculture market was the moment that we could make our vision a reality.
“We’re looking at a long-term presence as an intrinsic part of this magnificent market.
“We see ourselves as part of a vibrant community of food entrepreneurs new and old and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
Founder Combie Cryan said: “This is a serious commitment on all sides. We’re looking at a five million litres per year capacity so this is grown-up scale.”