Watford Council has secured a deal with company to run the new Watford Market for the next 10 years.

Town and Country Markets, which operates markets at 35 locations throughout the UK including London’s Old Spitalfields, will take charge of Watford’s historic market later this year.

The market is set to move from Charter Place to the car park in the TJ Hughes building ahead of the demolition of the aging shopping centre.

The stalls in the new Watford Market will be housed in old shipping containers, in the same style as the BOXPARK market in Shoreditch, as part of a £2m revamp.

The first 14 shipping containers arrived at the site earlier this week and there will be 44 in total when it is finished.

The new market is set to open in the autumn.

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill said: "The market was dying and it was really important we did something to preserve this tradition in our town. 

"To people who genuinely thought the market was awful I am going to say please come and give it a whirl as it will not be the old market. It will have the best bits of the old as well as the new."

Town and Country Market has been tasked with creating an attractive mix of stalls to attract new customers.

Grocer Gary Hickman, who has been part of Watford Market for 14 years, said: "The new market will be in a much better location and I look forward to welcoming new customers as well as familiar faces. We’ll have stalls in the market and just outside under the flyover, and we’re using the move to go to self-service which should be better for customers."     

Malcolm Ball, CEO of Town and Country Markets added: "We are delighted to be involved in this innovative approach which brings the market industry and this well established market, albeit relocated, into a 21st century environ."