The owner of Huddersfield’s new-look Packhorse Centre has offered a temporary home to traders from the town’s indoor market.

Tenants in Queensgate Market will have to move out from August as Kirklees Council turns the building into a new food court and events venue holding up to 3,000 people.

The council had been planning to move the market onto the streets – probably the Market Place end of New Street – and house traders in converted metal shipping containers and nearby empty shops.

The move would last at least three years while a new indoor/outdoor market is built on the site of the existing outdoor market.

Now Zahid Iqbal, the entrepreneur behind the revamped Packhorse Centre, has offered the council some units and indoor space.

“The council says they have 32 tenants remaining and we could house 20 of them in the Packhorse Centre,” said Mr Iqbal.

“We could make the former Peters unit available and we could house 10 or 12 in there. It also has a downstairs which could be used for storage, and there are also offices and toilets.

“It makes sense to keep the Queensgate traders indoors because they are coming from an indoor market. Why would they want to be outside in the cold in a metal shipping container when they could be warm inside?”

Mr Iqbal has spoken to the council and is waiting for them to come back to him. However, units are being let all the time and two empty units have gone since he first made the offer to the council.

“For me this is a win-win situation,” said Mr Iqbal. “We can offer the traders a home for three years from when Queensgate Market closes in August. It’s ready-made.

“We have had market traders come down to have a look at what we are offering. Many don’t want to be outside.”

READ MORE: Kirklees Council’s latest plans for Queensgate Market and the Cultural Heart

Clr Peter McBride, the council’s Cabinet member for growth and regeneration, said: “We are exploring different options in Huddersfield town centre for the temporary relocation of the market, and can confirm that the offer from the Packhorse Centre is amongst them.

“We haven’t made any final decisions at this point, as we need to assess the opportunities against the needs of the market traders and our regeneration plans. We expect to be able to confirm a preferred option in late spring.”

READ MORE: This is the vision for the Packhorse Centre