Plans to “unlock the potential” of a historic indoor market through a £1 million project have taken a “positive” step forward.

A renovation scheme for The Shambles in Devizes Market Place has been in the works for some time, after the town council hired Peter Kent Architect to lead the project last year.

In March concept plans for the historic building were presented to the Shambles Working Party which would see a range of upgrades implemented.

These would include increasing energy efficiency in the market, greater access to water, drainage, and power in the lower hall, upgraded toilet facilities, and fitting out the lower hall so it can be used as a community space

READ MORE: Update on The Shambles market renovation plans in Devizes

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Shambles in DevizesThe Shambles in Devizes (Image: Newsquest)

At a meeting of the town council’s commercial committee, members voted to follow a new course of action that outlines the next steps toward making this proposal a reality.

This includes carrying out a consultation with the full council, traders, and the community, and making any necessary revisions following this period.

Planning consent would then be sought for the changes ahead of more detailed, costed plans being drawn up and the work being put out to tender.

If these steps are followed successfully, the council will then commission the work.

Cllr Jonathan Hunter, the leader of the Devizes Guardians, said the decision was a “positive” step towards fulfilling what is one of the town council’s “key ambitions”.

He said: “We’ve made a positive decision to go away and follow this course of action and we’ll review every single point.

“Officers will prepare costings in the meantime and the commercial committee will work on those points before it’s put back to full council.

“We’re very positive about unlocking the potential of The Shambles.”

SEE ALSO: Plans to restore market to 'original glory' take big step forward

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The Shambles in DevizesThe Shambles in Devizes (Image: Newsquest)

The scheme has been given a budget of between £750,000 and £1 million to “improve the commercial success of the building by creating an environment that encourages greater dwell time, to maximise footfall”.

Town clerk Simon Fisher has previously said the council hopes to safeguard the future of the “thriving” market by increasing its energy efficiency.

Cllr Hunter added that The Shambles currently plays an important role in the town centre.

He said: “From a personal point of view, I think the project is very important.

“It involves and embraces traders who have unique points to offer the town and provides an opportunity for shoppers and residents to see Devizes at its best.

“It safeguards the immediate future of independent retailers trading in the town.”