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Artisan market in Ashton proves popular

Saturday's very first artisan market transformed Ashton town centre.

Tameside Council’s markets team and The Market Co launched the first event of its kind in Ashton’s Market Square.

One hundred traders set up unique stalls, offering handmade goods and delicious food, accompanied by entertainment from local musicians.

The day proved to be a huge success and gave much-needed support to local traders as they look to recover from the financial effects of the Covid pandemic.

Denise Valente, director at The Market Co, said: “We were approached by the market team at the council, who have seen what we’ve done in other towns across England and how we’ve revitalised their high streets. 

“They’ve been so receptive, so it was an obvious choice to us to expand here.

“We’ve had a phenomenal reaction from traders and been blown away by the reception they’ve received. 

“It’s really exciting and the start of something very special.”

She added: “High streets need people to return to them - especially after the pandemic, when people are going to be wary - so we need to give them a good reason to come. 

“When we have held events in other areas across Greater Manchester footfall has skyrocketed - but more importantly, it highlights to people that might not go into town as often what else there is to offer, so they keep coming back at other times of the month.”

Tameside Council Markets manager, Steve Hadfield, said: “The event has been absolutely fantastic. We’re seeing people we haven’t seen for a whole year back in the town centre.

“The idea of the event was to bring vibrant activity back into Ashton, but more importantly, it’s about highlighting those businesses that have been with us for many, many years.”

Markets officer, Luke Mirfin, said: “Thank you to everyone that’s been and supported the market. 

“It’s been a fantastic event and we look forward to seeing everyone at the next Ashton artisan market.”

The success of the market could lead to opportunities for similar events in other Tameside towns, but for now, residents can expect to see the stalls in Ashton on the last Saturday of every month.

Images by Nigel Wood

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