Excitement is growing as one of the city’s best-loved buildings takes a step closer to being back in full use.
The Butter Market in North Street has been under major refurbishment over the past year after being taken on by Orion Developments, and the final touches are being put in place.
Chichester city councillors have been shown around the building, which it is envisaged will open sometime in February or March depending when tenants can be found.
Cllr Richard Plowman was impressed with what he saw on his visit.
“It’s been done to a very high quality,” he said. “You can see they have done a good job making sure it’s to a high standard.
“We were pleasantly surprised. What was particularly impressive was upstairs – it’s light, airy and I think it’s going to be a terrific place for a restaurant.
“The only regret is maybe we could have had more shops in there, but when you look at it, the units need to be a certain size to be commercially viable.
“People will be very pleased. They have restored it to the prestigious building it should be.”
Chairman of the city council’s finance committee Tony French said: “I was expecting a high enough standard by the developer and I think they produced it.
“I believe they are fairly optimistic that by Easter it will be flowing with people.”
It has not just been councillors who have been impressed by what they have seen.
City shoppers have been catching a glimpse through perspex panels in the hoardings at the front of the building.
Hazel Thompson, 37, from Chichester said: “I think it looks fantastic – I will definitely go in and have a look.
“It’s just a positive, really.Chichester is a beautiful place, and they have utilised what is a beautiful building.”
Sandra Stephenson, 60, from Bognor Regis said: “I think it’s nice enough.
“I never used it before because it was so shabby.
“It fits in with Chichester now.”
A progress report on the development’s website said the contractors W Stirland finished the work at the end of November.