Page 4 - MarketTimesOctober2020
P. 4

4 MARKET TIMES • OCTOBER 2020 Warrington’s new £11 million
market gets off to a flying start
Warrington’s new £11 million market is centre stage in an ambitious £142 million scheme to regenerate the town centre. Although it’s still fairly early days, NICOLA GOULD reports on what appears to be a gold standard success
   WARRINGTON’S new market is already being hailed a success despite opening during a pandemic and amid the myriad challenges that arise during a £142 million project to transform the centre of this Cheshire town.
“It’s a brilliant example of how to bring markets into the 21st century,” said Gareth Jones, who runs Singleton deli in the new market.
Anyone who wants to know how to create a flagship market and put market trading right at the heart of a revitalised town should visit Warrington, he suggests.
Non-food traders describe how their takings have doubled. The traditional food traders are
delighted with the great footfall and the new customers the market is attracting, and the hot food traders can hardly keep up with the queues of customers — all socially distanced, of course.
It has been a long journey for the traders after many years of struggling in an outdated market with a backlog of repairs and rapidly falling footfall.
Market Manager Andy Ward was taken on to oversee the move after managing a similar scheme in Sheffield. He said the old market was much too big and the backlog of repairs would have cost millions to put right. There had been 256 stalls and 15 shops and the loss of traders and poor footfall meant that the back hall was
The market entrance from Time Square
virtually empty.
Fortunately, there was no need for “make do
and mend”. Warrington Council announced a plan for the multi-million pound Time Square redevelopment which would see a new market hall as the hub of a revitalised town centre.
The plan was to demolish the old market and move a reduced number of traders into a new temporary market costing £3 million.
A bright and airy new market hall was then built on part of the footprint of the old market, retaining the beautiful old frontage of what had been Boots on one side, and with an impressive, modern glazed entrance on the other side opening on to the new Time Square.

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