Positive steps forward for Ashton Market works

Date Released - 07/03/2024

SPRING is the traditional time for revitalisation, and work behind the scenes is ongoing to prepare for the start of works on Ashton’s outdoor Market.

Providing a crucial starting point for the transformation process, the construction company has been appointed to build the new kiosks which will equip the towns central square with the facilities needed to attract shoppers and shape it for the future, while retaining the traditions that makes the place so special.

In accordance with desires made clear in the public consultation, the work is being funded by the £20m Levelling Up Fund awarded from the Government. The new-look market will have a focus on food and drink while featuring a diverse range of businesses such as unique gifts, homeware, and clothing.

The focal point of the square – which will include seating and a welcoming events space – will be a large canopy covering kiosks, the outdoor market, and flexible space for events and activities. The Market Square will be rejuvenated with high quality public realm, tree planting, new seating, spaces for families and lighting that will encourage activities in the evening and for events.

Manufacture and construction of the new kiosks is being carried out by Whitecrate Container Architecture, a highly regarded company whose previous projects include the markets in Altrincham, Preston and Wolverhampton, and the National Railway Museum café in York.

Work is due to begin in June. In the meantime, the market hall will remain open while some outdoor stalls will be temporarily moved to Fletcher Square. The Council are committed to continuing with a programme of events and specialist markets in the town centre including the Farmers Market to ensure there is activity in the town throughout the construction period.

Cllr Vimal Choksi, Tameside Council’s executive member for towns and communities, said: “The transformation project will ensure the market retains its status as Ashton’s key attraction for many years to come. Now that we have secured a contractor to build the kiosks, we are currently undertaking a tender exercise to appoint a contractor to build the new canopy and public realm.

“We have taken account of what was asked for in the consultation and I believe the reborn Market Square will meet those requests with its eclectic mix of traders and its focus on food and drink and events.

“Inevitably, there will be some disruption while the work is done, but the market will remain in operation. I would encourage shoppers to keep coming into Ashton and keep shopping local for all those great bargains and quality goods on offer.”

For more information on the plans go to www.levellingupashton.co.uk