MARKETS will be making a comeback at the town’s former market hall for the first time in more than 10 years.
Moorgarth, owners of the Market Place Shopping Centre, which is based at the Grade II-listed building, has announced that it will be bringing back its version of the “traditional marketplace” from next month with a food hall and artisan market.
The Leeds-based company has been responsible for the hub’s revamp since the market hall controversially closed in 2007, with many traders moving to the market in Ashburner Street.
Tim Vaughan, CEO of Moorgarth Group, said: “For us, real estate asset management is about much more than buying and refurbishing a building and then renting it out or selling it.
“It’s about creating a working environment, a community that people relate to and want to spend time in, because it’s exciting, interesting and innovative.”
The Market Place Kitchen, a street food market with seating areas, will open in the heart of the complex in July. This will be followed by an outdoor market section in August, The Market Place Patio, offering flowers, arts and crafts, vintage items and bric-a-brac in August.
The Market Place Food Hall, with 20 units for local entrepreneurs, will open in October.
Moorgarth’s Frederic Bonnet has been responsible for heading the company’s market revival strategy.
Mr Bonnet said: “Today’s value is not simply created from rent collection, but from the brand that has been created and developing an attractive product that the market desires.
“Broadening the offer in any trading environment is something we always strive to achieve, whether in retail, food and beverage, office or residential environments.”
Bolton Market will continue to operate from its base in Ashburner Street and Mr Bonnet made it clear that it was not their intention to compete with the main market but to “compliment” it.
He said: “We want to make the Market Place the heart of the community and something that brings people together.
“We are not going to compete with Bolton Market because that is not our ambition. We want it to complement Bolton Market.”
Cllr Linda Thomas, Bolton Council leader, described it as “another coup” for Bolton.
She said: “Residents across the borough will be very happy to see the return of the markets to the Market Place. We are very proud of our award-winning partnership work with Moorgarth Group to deliver the £23million transformation of the centre with the new dining destination in The Vaults and the nine-screen cinema.
“The addition of the food hall and artisan market will offer residents something different and it will only add to the growing vibrancy of the town centre, alongside the refurbishment of our popular Bolton Market on Ashburner Street, the new interchange and regeneration of Newport Street.
“Our £100million masterplan is furthering our ambition to regenerate the town centre, bolster our local economy, attract more shops and local jobs for the benefit of all our residents.
“Our recent acquisition of Crompton Place and the relocation of the bus station gives us a lot of exciting options for these sites, which we are currently developing plans for.”