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Leicester Market is a market in The City of Leicester, England, on Market Place just south of the clock tower. It is around 800 years old and was moved to the current site around 700 years ago. It is the largest outdoor covered market in Europe.
It is open Monday to Saturday 7am - 6pm and has over 270 stalls. The outdoor market sells a wide variety of goods, particularly fruit and vegetables, but also flowers, clothes, second-hand-books, bric-a-brac and jewellery. It also has a number of permanent units, containing clothes, cosmetics, fabrics, greetings cards, a cafe and pet products.
The former indoor market, built in 1973, was a multi-level building containing the fish market and delicatessen, as well as stalls selling clothes, haberdashery, footwear, jewellery, gemstones, and confectionery. It was demolished between December 2014 /June 2015 and the levelled site turned into New Market Square. The traders who were based there either moved to the new Food Hall - built adjacent to The Corn Exchange as a partial replacement and opened in April 2014 - or to stalls on the Outdoor Market.
In the centre of the market stands the Leicester Corn Exchange (1850), originally built as a trading centre, but now serving as a bar and restaurant. A statue of John Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland stands close to the Corn Exchange.
A monthly Farmers' Market is held nearby on Gallowtree Gate on the last Wednesday of every month, specializing in locally produced organic meat, fruit and vegetables.
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The market is protected by a Royal Charter that goes back to its origin over 700 years ago. This prohibits other markets from operating within a specified distance (62⁄3 miles) of the Leicester market.
In recent years the City Council which holds the Royal Charter has begun to allow some other markets within the City. In 2009 the City Council proposed to grant a licence to a private market promoter to operate a Sunday Market at the Walkers Stadium.
This has become a point of political disagreement in Leicester, with the Labour Cabinet supporting the move under the Rival Market policy, despite cross party opposition from the lead scrutiny committee.
- William, David (2010) Life in the United Kingdom: The Land and the People, New Africa Press, ISBN 978-9987160174, p. 230
- Dudgeon, Piers (2007) The Virgin 2008 Alternative Guide to British Universities, Virgin Books, ISBN 978-0753512234, p. 280
- Leicester Mercury rival market report Archived 2011-05-02 at the Wayback Machine.
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