Rochdale’s first ever Artisan Market has been praised by businesses across Rochdale town centre, who saw customer numbers surge on the back of the event.
The Market Company event, which is supported by the council and Rochdale Development Agency (RDA), welcomed 6,000 visitors, who enjoyed treats like paella, Thai street food, homemade fudge, botanical gin and vodka and sweet and savoury pies.
Around 51 stalls, many of which were Rochdale traders, flocked to the town centre for the first Artisan Market, which is set to return on the last Saturday of every month.
Michael Rushton, from Rochdale’s Choice Family Butchers in the indoor market, said: “The Artisan Market was brilliant and it was fantastic to see Rochdale thriving. We had lots of people coming in who had never visited us before and we took three times what we would take on an ordinary Saturday. The artisan traders really complemented the indoor market and it was a great atmosphere.”
Debra McGinty, who runs Montague’s café on the first floor of the indoor market, said: “The Artisan Market made such a difference. We doubled our takings on the day and had people queueing to get in. The whole town came alive and it brought a great vibe. The space here on the Butts next to the re-opened river is ideally suited to outdoor events like this and it helps spread the town out. We can’t wait for the next one.”
Phil Buckley, owner of high end menswear shop, Buckley Menswear, which opened last year with council support, said: “We were dead busy all day and it boosted our takings by about 50 per cent. It brought people in who hadn’t visited the town centre in a long time and they were commenting on how it much it has improved. This was a really good example of the on going redevelopment of the town centre and how it’s transforming. There’s clearly a lot of demand for these types of events.”
The event was the first time the Market Company, which trades across the North West, including Northwich and Wilmslow, had brought the Artisan Market to Rochdale and Market Company director Denise Valente, is looking forward to returning later this month.
She said: “We couldn’t have wished for more for our opening event here in Rochdale. The feedback from traders and customers was overwhelmingly positive and neighbouring businesses have clearly also benefitted, which is really important to us.
“We were pleased to bring a number of Rochdale traders to the market and will be bringing even more to our next event on 27 April.”
Town centre manager, Paul Ambrose, said: “Following the success or the inaugural Artisan Market, I can’t wait for it to return this month. The range and quality of the traders is fantastic, and feedback I received from customers and town centre businesses has been overwhelmingly positive.”
The Artisan Market takes place on the last Saturday of every month on the Butts in Rochdale town centre, next to the indoor market and foodhall, from 10am to 4pm.
17 Apr 2019