Reading’s Broad Street Mall is to open a pop-up street food market this week as a forerunner to its consented scheme for a permanent one.

Asset manager Moorgarth has announced that its new Union Square will open for a temporary period from Thursday, June 25, at South Court at the rear of the mall, serving food from around the world, before the permanent street food market launches in mid-November.

The arrival of Union to run the market will create 25 local jobs and forms part of Moorgarth’s wider plan to regenerate the mall.

Managing director of Moorgarth, Gary Lewis, said: “We are delighted to announce the arrival of Union food market, which forms an integral part of our plans to improve Broad Street Mall as part of a wider masterplan which includes the addition of 400 new high-quality, centrally located homes recently granted planning permission alongside a new Premier Inn hotel.”

Daryll Bunce, director of innovation at Moorgarth said: “The food market marks the start of an exciting partnership between Moorgarth and Union’s owner PopCity. 

“This flexible approach between owner and operator will bring a proven market concept from Leeds and allow the people of Reading to enjoy the latest trends in food experience. 

“Traders and customers can build trust and rapport in the offer as we build out the permanent space, a 15,000 sq ft transformation that will launch in November 2020.”

The permanent 350-seat food market will be at the former Poundland store next to South Court. Seven street food vendors will operate alongside a bar featuring Vocation Brewery’s craft beers. 

Live music, film screenings and other themed events will take place.

Richard Sweet from PopCity said: “We’ve really done our homework on Reading and are confident that there is a pent-up demand for a more exciting re-interpretation of fast-food. 

“We’re set to introduce some amazing independent operators and we will ensure that there’s a great variety of flavours on offer, with high-quality food and drink at a reasonable price. 

“Union will offer a platform to local food independents that may not ordinarily be able to trade from such a high-profile location.”

Image (l-r): Daryll Bunce, director of innovation, Moorgath; Gary Lewis, managing director, Moorgarth; Nicola Williamson, centre manager, Broad St Mall and Richard Sweet, joint owner PopCity.

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