Consultation on Ashton Market plans opened

MEMBERS of the public can now have their say on plans to redevelop Ashton’s Market Square.

Tameside Council has put together a £10.8 million draft for the area, including the removal of all of kiosks and market stalls and replacing them with the construction of a large canopy or a series of canopied structures, including a canopy attached to Market Hall.

And a public consultation on the scheme – using much of the near £20 million of Levelling Up Funding secured – has now been launched, giving people until December 5 to voice their opinion on what they want to happen.

Artist impression of Ashton Market plans

Main themes include making the market square bring more open space and an improved and flexible layout to stalls, which would help to make the square more welcoming, vibrant and feel safer.

Also bringing increased outdoor seating and tables for eating and drinking would also provide places for people to relax whilst supporting the market hall and its traders.

A council report into the proposal states: “The proposed works for Market Square will look to improve the quality of the public realm, accessibility and mobility of the square, an improved outdoor market offer including the creation of a flexible town square to incorporate a range of uses and possibilities that will enhance the area and the town as a visitor destination in its own right.

Ashton market

“The extent of adaptations and improvements to Market Square is dependent on the future ambition and provision of the outdoor market.”

Pre-consultation, including discussions with council officers, key stakeholders, Ashton Town Team, market traders and the local community took place at the Love Ashton event held in Ashton Market Hall on March 12.

And the report adds: “It was very clear from feedback that residents and visitors to Ashton want to see change and an improved offer of the Market Square with many people favouring the idea of a canopied structure in the square.

“Anti-social behaviour associated with the existing market stalls was also high on the number of comments that people made with many references to feeling unsafe in the area.”

Councillor Vimal Choksi, Tameside Council’s executive member (Towns and Communities) said: “The projects being developed with Levelling Up Fund monies are crucial to unlocking the potential regeneration of Ashton town centre.

“We’ve listened to the feedback given so far and have used the information to draw up the draft plans. I would encourage everyone to complete the survey and give their views.

Overlooking Ashton outdoor market

“This will help to ensure we are shaping the town centre in a way that meets all needs for the future and help make it a place where everyone wants to live, work and spend time in, a place to be proud of.”

Once plans are agreed, early physical works which could include the removal of redundant stalls and kiosks is expected in May 2023 and after a contractor is secured, construction may take place between February 2024 and March 2025.

People can view the plans and complete the survey at www.tameside.gov.uk/ashtontowncentre and an event will be held in the market hall where people will have chance to speak with members of the team.

8 Replies to “Consultation on Ashton Market plans opened”

  1. I am concerned that such a phenomenonal amount of money is being spent on the market area. Why can’t £10.8 million be sent into schools to help with dire funding or go the hospitals to reduce waiting times or to employ more staff! I’d even prefer the money to be spent on helping home the homeless who frequent the market stalls rather than on building new kiosks. Such a waste of funding!

  2. I think its brilliant that Ashton market is having a face-lift we need to get the market back on track like it used to be I think it will bring a lot of people back because Ashton market as become a ghost town to what it used to be like can’t wait till the work is all completed.

  3. Oldham market is dead, Ashton Market is slowly dying and if experience in Oldham, (where we’ve ended up with 3 stone columns with plastic owls on top them , (but and wait for it; they light up,) costing around £10 million each, (OK that’s an oversimplification,) is anything to go by this will be more money down the drain.

    Meanwhile there’s no land or funding available to build desperately needed new social housing

  4. Ashton town centre needs to attract the chain stores back to the centre and offer cheap parking to compete with retail parks. It also needs more eating places and attractive green spaces-Astro turf would be better than the mix of slap dash tarmac, paving etc that is there at the moment.

  5. A Manchester Evening News article, of 17 Sept, 2022 by Paige Oldfield, titled :- “It’s gone to pot” : The Greater Manchester ‘ghost town’ that used to be buzzing stated :-
    Cllr Cooney said market traders had ‘come and gone without success as people no longer want to buy from markets for various reasons’.
    Why is Tameside Council even bothering?

  6. The days of outside market stalls are over the market price of goods and food are no longer a reason to buy from them and this is why markets are now no longer used and in wet cold weather very little profit can be made so they are abandoned the inside market stalls are the future extend the present brick building and offer more stalls inside and reduce the rental and this will encourage stall holders to keep prices at a reduced market level employ a market assessor who will keep a price check on the stall holders being competitive with retailers.

  7. I am also of the opinion the town hall should be developed and used for public use and maybe an entertainment venue and offered for wedding and other public use.

  8. How does a new roof over an empty space help with ani social behaviour.?

    How many time does Ashton & other market squares need to be re built to still get it wrong?

    A lot of money is spent of so called Master Plans where consultants get huge fees for nonsense?

    .

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