Ashton’s historic Ashton Square will be getting a £76m makeover after plans have been approved by Tameside Council.
The scheme, which will the introduction of new stalls and kiosks, high quality landscaping and trees, a performances area, seating areas as well as new street furniture and lighting, follows extensive consultation with traders, shoppers and residents.
The new look square will also complement the Grade II* listed Ashton Market Hall and the ambitious Vision Tameside masterplan, where the Council is working in partnership with Tameside College to deliver a new town centre campus and shared work space.
This move is set to bring more than 3,000 students and staff into the town centre, increasing footfall and helping the market to remain a busy and thriving hub.
Recent reports have highlighted that Ashton is under threat in terms of online retailing and changing consumer habits, so it is essential investment takes place to ensure it can continue to compete with neighbouring towns, and securing its position as one of the busiest and most popular markets in the North West.
Cllr Bill Fairfoull, chair of Ashton Town Team, said: “Ashton Market Square holds a special place in the hearts of the public and traders alike. Both the indoor and outdoor markets offer great choice, high quality and value for money, but we are also looking to improve the area for the future while ensuring we retain its charm and appeal.
“The plans have been developed following extensive consultation to ensure the space is attractive yet functional and provides an appealing and inviting place to shop, socialise and do business.”
The work, which is to be phased in order to minimise disruption to the current market will begin later this year and is hoped to be completed by December 2015