The first of the new kiosks at Ashton Market has opened. On Monday, March 14, Walter and Kim Wright cut a ribbon and welcomed in the first customers to Wrights Al Fresco Cafe.
Sporting a green colour scheme, the cafe has outdoor seating and is selling a much larger range of freshly ground coffees, cakes and ice creams as well as burgers, breakfasts and toast. There is a loyalty-card scheme offering a free tenth cup of coffee for every nine bought.
"We're really excited about being in our new home. The public seem to like us and so far we’ve had some really good trading days."
When the market refurbishment is complete, there will be eight kiosks accommodating 13 tenants - as well as 104 stalls. It is being reopened in stages, as areas are finished, but all the work should be done by late summer.
Tameside Council has maintained a fully operational market throughout the project and Ashton has remained as popular as ever. It retained its title as Britain's Favourite Market for the second year running in 2015 with more than two million
visitors. It is also a popular destination for coach parties, with some coming from as far afield as the Midlands and north Lancashire.
John Taylor, who has responsibility for the borough's markets, said:
"I want to wish Walter and Kim all the very best with their new venture. Im sure they'll do very well.
Ashton is one of the North's favourite markets and the development will make sure its long history and traditions continue into the 21st century. We're determined to make sure it remains an attractive yet functional and inviting place to shop, socialise and do business"