Traders at Tommyfield Market heard the latest on plans for Oldham’s all-new town centre market from Council Leader Arooj Shah on Wednesday 13 September.
The aim of the session was for traders to be able to feed back their input and ideas to the council leader directly, as well as getting an update on the transformation of Spindles into the new market, food hall, events space and town archives.
Taking place in the Market Hall after traders shut up shop for the day, Cllr Shah and officers from the Council gave updates on the regeneration plans, and the timeline of the market move and opened the floor up to any questions from the traders.
During the Q and A session traders were provided answers to questions about the application process, the timescales for the move over to the new market, business support and further work with the trader liaison group.
The trader meeting is part of Cllr Shah’s series of Meet the Leader events, in which she’s meeting with groups of people across the borough to ensure a more inclusive and resident-focused approach to decision-making.
Cllr Shah said: “It was brilliant to meet with the market traders and get the chance to speak to them about how their all-new market is coming along, as part of the transformation of our town centre.
“I’m a regular visitor to Tommyfield so meet with individual stallholders often, but this session gave us a chance to all come together, ask questions and share updates.
“Since my last meeting with the traders, we’ve made fantastic progress on the new market site, which opens out onto Parliament Square where the former TJ Hughes store used to be.”
The new home for Tommyfield Market is part of the wider revamp of Spindles shopping centre which, when complete, will include a home for Tommyfield Market, a new events space, offices, a food court and an archive centre.
Rick Whitmore, owner of Meat in the Middle, said: “I’m really looking forward to the move and it will be great for us as we can share our input on how the space will look.”
The market is set to be complete in December 2024, with traders expected to be moving over from January 2025.
Claire Robinson, who runs Blooming Dales florist, said: “I can’t wait to move to the new market. We’re all excited as a team here at Blooming Dales.
The market will be a newer, fresher market for people and hopefully, it will bring a lot more footfall into the town centre.”
Tommyfield Market boasts more than 100 businesses selling everything from pet supplies, all kinds of clothes, shoes, bags, gifts and everyday essentials.
There’s a barbers, hairdressers, nail bar and eyebrow threading, as well as key cutting, shoe and clothes repairs.
The fantastic fresh produce stalls include flowers, fruit and veg, meat, fish, deli goods, bread, sweets and treats.
The new market is right at the heart of the Council’s town centre plans – which includes a new theatre, new leisure opportunities, the restoration of the Old Library and around 2,000 new homes.
Cllr Shah added: “Our market is so important to Oldham. As well as being a place where people go to shop, eat and drink, it’s a place where friendships happen and where memories are created.
“ I believe that by ensuring the voices of local people and our market traders are heard, we can ensure the new market has just as much heart and soul as Tommyfield does.
“Work on our all-new town centre is well underway and I’m so excited for what the future holds. Together we’re building a better Oldham where more people want to live, work and raise their families, and a town centre to be proud of is an important part of that.”
To find out more about the ongoing town centre regeneration plans, visit www.oldham.gov.uk/regen