Street Fest set to return to Stalybridge

STREET Fest is likely to come back to Stalybridge for a third year after it proved an undeniable success.

Much debate on whether food traders will be positioned around Armentieres Square and the town’s Civic Hall again raged after the end of last year’s programme.

But Tameside Council believes it will be back for 2023, with the first of six events in May – one a month until September then one around Christmas.

Stalybridge Street Fest has been a huge success for the town

And its impact on the town centre has seen an average increase of 36 per cent more people there during Street Fest than compared to the same day at other times of the week.

One event which attracted almost double the usual visitor numbers in the town centre.

A council report, which says £33,000 of the recently awarded UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will hopefully be used to support the programme of events.

It should also be considered as part of bigger plans for regenerating the area.

It states: “In respect of economic growth, footfall and visitor spend is being spread to other town centre businesses who have reported an increase in their own activity and takings.

“Street Fest success has acted as a catalyst for businesses who have taken the opportunity to develop their offer, extend their opening times, and establish a new customer base.

“The Stalybridge Street Fest events in 2021 and 2022 have delivered on its aim of engaging residents and businesses, increasing footfall in the town centre, supporting local SME traders and increasing the profile of Stalybridge as a desirable location to visit.

“Since its introduction in July 2021, Street Fest has helped to positively raise awareness of Stalybridge town centre, attracting thousands of additional visitors from Tameside and across Greater Manchester.

Stalybridge Civic Hall | Photo by Gemma Carter

“The Market Co has delivered the Stalybridge Street Fest programmes for both 2021 and 2022 with great success and acclaim.

“Demand from traders has remained solid and numbers wishing to attend has increased demonstrating that the market has an appetite for delivery within Stalybridge.

“Demand throughout the programme in the last two years has not waned and there is a clear opportunity for the council to continue to deliver this event for the benefit of the local economy in Stalybridge.

“The Street Fest needs to be considered as part of the wider strategic approach to regeneration in Stalybridge and ensuring the town delivers on its potential as being a town centre to meet future need and to evolve based around a strong independent retail offer, high quality public realm, new homes, heritage, food and drink, community and events.”

A date in May is yet to be announced for the first Street Fest of 2023 as, according to the report, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) needs to sign of the UKSPF funding.

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