Exhibition will focus on a new vision for Ely’s much criticised 1960s retail buildings in the market place

A new £4million proposal to enhance Ely’s city centre. Ely practice Gary Johns Architects and local

A new £4million proposal to enhance Ely’s city centre. Ely practice Gary Johns Architects and local property company Rannerlow Limited are behind the scheme - Credit: Archant

A £4million proposal to enhance Ely city centre is being put forward at two public exhibitions beginning today.

Gary Johns Architects and Ely property company Rannerlow Limited are hoping for widespread support for “our vision for a better city centre”.

The proposal would provide 21 luxury apartments by the addition of one and a half storeys to improve the much criticised 1960s retail building which stands on the market place.

The design is the result of collaborative work by Rannerlow, Gary Johns Architects and East Cambs District Council and is intended to enhance and rejuvenate the city centre.

Mr Johns explained that in 2013 city councillor and former mayor, Brian Ashton, kick-started the alteration of the building alongside plans to enhance the market square and bring major benefits to Ely.

“Being based in the heart of Ely we were brought on board to deliver a modern building which is sympathetic and complementary to the historic heritage buildings in the city,” he said.

“Rannerlow is committed to bringing forward a building which will make the city proud.”

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He said they were grateful to the conservation office at the city council “who have galvanised the ideas put forward and succeeded in bringing English Heritage into the design process from an early stage.”

He said that ‘totally enveloping’ the existing building would be carried out with minimal inconvenience to traders, market stall holders and shoppers.

“It isn’t going to be easy but by working together the £4 million face lift can be achieved,” he said.

* The exhibition is from 10.30am today and on Saturday from 10.30am- both exhibitions are at Ely Museum, Market Street.