A brand new Rochdale market is one step closer, with a planning application for a prime town centre site set to be submitted in the next few weeks.
The proposals would see the market opening on the Butts, close to the award-winning River Roch re-opening project. The vacant Santander building on site creates the opportunity for a new indoor food hall.
Rochdale has a strong market tradition, and in 1251 became one of the first towns in Lancashire to obtain a Market Charter.
The council took over the running of the market in 2013, to save it from closure when the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre in which it was based was sold. It has been on its current site next to the town centre Metrolink stop in Smith Street since early 2015.
The council plans to appoint an external market operator, whose job will be to bring new retailers to the market to increase the variety and quality of stalls, and run it long-term. All current market traders will be given the opportunity to pitch for a stall on the new market.
Councillor Richard Farnell, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “This new market will be a huge boost for Rochdale town centre, and will go hand-in-hand with all the other improvements that are taking place as part of the council’s £250m town centre regeneration.
“The Butts is a fantastic location right in the heart of the town centre, next to the stunning River Roch and our brand new transport facilities. A good market with plenty of choice is an essential part of any thriving town centre and we’re well on our way to delivering this.”
The Butts site can accommodate around 25 to 30 demountable market stalls, while the aim is for the Santander building to house welfare facilities for market traders and storage accommodation. The ground floor of the building could be used as a food court or market hall for fresh food retailers.
As well as being next to the re-opened river, the Butts is in the town centre conservation area, much of which is currently being repaved in heritage-style York stone. Work has already been completed on The Walk, with Lower Yorkshire Street and Baillie Street set to be repaved in the next few months.
The planning application will be considered in the next few months, with the new market due to be operating from the Butts by Easter next year.
27 Oct 2016