A WHARFEDALE councillor has cautiously welcomed plans to prevent Kirkgate Market from suffering further water damage.

Rainwater was discovered to have been getting into the fabric of the market buildings at Leeds following a refurbishment in 2016.

Leeds City Council has now approved a £400,000 project to strip back the fittings and investigate the source of the problem.

Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel and Wharfedale) agrees that the issue has to be tackled - but has concerns about the costs involved and the potential disruption.

Cllr Anderson, who is the local Conservative group’s Neighbourhoods spokesman, said: “Kirkgate Market is an important part of Leeds’ heritage and provides a special focal point for shoppers and traders.

“Whilst it is clear that we must look after and maintain the fabric of the building, careful consideration needs to be given to the individual traders to ensure that they aren’t inconvenienced any more than absolutely necessary to get the works completed.

“These are small businesses and time not trading is a loss of their livelihood.

“I also note that at £400,000 the cost of these works is way over the original tender estimates, due to specialist contractors being needed.

“I do hope there will be no further cost increases that Leeds council taxpayers will end up footing the bill for.”

Leeds Kirkgate Market, on Vicar Lane, is the largest indoor market in Europe and famous for being the founding location of Marks & Spencer which, in 1884, opened there as a penny bazaar.