Tameside Conservatives’ petition to reopen Stalybridge Market Hall
Wednesday 28th February 2018 @ 12:21 by Tom Greggan
News Stalybridge Tameside

Tameside Conservatives have launched a petition calling for Tameside Council to reopen Stalybridge Market Hall.

Led by Stalybridge South candidate Liam Billington, the petition was launched last week and has attracted over 500 signatures. It will be presented at the next Stalybridge Town Council meeting on March 7th.

Highlighting towns such as Uppermill and Altrincham that have been revitalised by a thriving market, Liam says that Stalybrige is missing out through a lack of investment.

“We set up the petition last week, mainly because we feel that Stalybridge needs more regeneration there,” he said. “We think that with the retail opportunity there and the location of it, Stalybridge has the opportunity to be the next Uppermill. You go to other towns in Greater Manchester and Stalybridge is really missing out on a great opportunity. That’s why we set up the petition to re-open the market hall.

“I think the market is being underused because Ashton is seen as a priority for Tameside. While Ashton has had over £4.5m spent on their new outdoor market and over £33m to move the bus station a couple of yards to create a “Tameside Interchange”, Stalybridge has seen no investment from Tameside Council to improve our town centre and our market has remained closed for years.”

The Conservatives want residents to decide how best to use the Market Hall should it re-open and are gauging public opinion on the matter. Tameside Council Deputy Leader, Cllr John Taylor, who is responsible for markets, says reopening the hall as a day-to-day market won’t work.

“I was one of the last traders in Stalybridge Market Hall and the reason it closed is that there was simply not enough support to keep traders going,” he said. “It’s no good saying you will reopen the market without having a plan in place first.

“It might work if there were more specialist markets, such as the artisan markets we have there on the second Sunday of every month, but there is simply not enough demand for a full-time market. Where will the traders come from?”

After Stalybridge was chosen for Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s Town Centre Challenge, it’s hoped that an increase of residents living in the town centre will increase demand.

Cllr Taylor added: “The idea of reopening the Market Hall might be worth reopening after we see the benefits of the town centre challenge, but not now. If the market in Stalybridge had worked, it would still be open.”

But the Conservative wants to see investment in retail alongside a growth in housing. “This is a different approach,” Liam said. “Andy Burnham’s Town Centre Challenge is focused on housing. We feel that there needs to be some retail in there. Personally, I feel that there are not enough businesses in Stalybridge to accommodate local people’s jobs. What you’re seeing is people travelling to Manchester, Stockport, Trafford Park, etc.

“There are no jobs in Tameside that are supporting the growth in housing. We need to ensure that with any new housing, there is suitable work there for people so that they don’t have to commute, which would also cut down on congestion.”

You can view and sign the petition to reopen Stalybridge Market Hall at www.tamesideconservatives.com/stalybridgemarket.