THE regeneration of Pontypool Market is making excellent progress, say Torfaen County Brough Council, half way through the redevelopment.
New market stalls are under construction, while the painting of the higher levels is complete.
New floor is due to be laid shortly.
The market remains open for business, with 22 traders offering an array of Christmas necessities, from local produce, meat and veg, to cards, gifts and spices for mulled wine.
The next phase of the project will begin at the end of this year.
At that time traders currently located within the main market hall will join the businesses trading in Mogfords and Crane Street Arcades.
Interest from new traders is said to be growing.
A Pontypool Regeneration Project progress report said eight potential traders had submitted expression of interest forms, with a further three more submitting business plans.
Product ranges include bespoke wood carvings, handmade jewellery, and fishing tackle and equipment.
An American retro sweet shop is also being discussed for the market.
A prospectus-style booklet is being produced for all potential new traders and will be available in January 2014, both online as well as in hard copy.
In addition, indoor market traders have been offered the use of gazebos to trade outside in the run-up to Christmas.
There is a link with the graphic design-department of the college who are working hard to produce flyers, posters and leaflets promoting the market during the upgrade.
It is expected that the new stalls in the main market hall will open in March 2014, with the whole project due to be completed a few months later in July.
The council's deputy leader, Councillor Lewis Jones, said: “Pontypool market and its traders are part of the lifeblood of our town centre, providing unique, local shops and a friendly service that you just don’t get in the big retailers.
“The refurbished market will be a fantastic asset for everyone in Pontypool and I know that all 22 of our dedicated, hard-working local traders would appreciate the support from people choosing to shop local this Christmas.”
The improvements are part of the Pontypool Settlement Area project, which aims to regenerate Pontypool town centre and surrounding neighbourhoods.
The project has received funding from the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, the Welsh Government’s Targeted Match Fund, the Heads of the Valleys Programme and Torfaen County Borough Council.
A virtual flythrough of the completed market can be seen at www.youtube.com/torfaencouncil
Updates on changes are available at www.facebook.com/PontypoolIndoorMarket
Alternatively, you can follow @PPIndoorMarket on Twitter.
The market is seeking new traders.
Contact Sharon Hutchinson for an informal discussion on 01495 752822.