The public consultation is now open on proposals for the redevelopment of Ashton's Market Square and Outdoor Market. Everyone is invited to have their say on the plans in order to help shape the decisions to be made on the town centre and this key public space.
The proposals for the Market Square which were approved at Tameside Council Executive Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 26th October 2022 will utilise £10.8m of the £19.87m Levelling Up Fund awarded by Government in October 2021 forming part of the wider Ashton Public Realm Strategy.
Draft plans have been drawn up by a multidisciplinary team led by Planit IE using feedback from the pre-consultation exercise carried out with Ashton market traders, key stakeholders, the Ashton Town Team, Council officers, visitors and the local community at the Love Ashton event held in Ashton Market Hall on 12 March 2022.
The exciting new proposal will provide a high quality flexible and modern market square which would lend itself to a range of different uses and be more inviting to the local community and visitors, as well as provide space to hold events. Plans include replacing existing outdoor kiosk and stall structures with a large canopy to create a more inviting and adaptable space with re-orientated market units which meet the needs of modern market traders.
Feedback received in March highlighted a view that an improved market offer was felt to be a priority to many residents and visitors. The plans aim to improve the look and feel of the market square bringing more open space and an improved and flexible layout to market stalls which would help to make the square more welcoming, vibrant and feel safer. Bringing increased outdoor seating and tables for eating and drinking would also provide places for people to relax whilst supporting the Market Hall and its traders.
The new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) being put in place in Ashton Town Centre will help provide stronger enforcement powers to help address concerns about crime and antisocial behaviour in the town centre.
Councillor Vimal Choksi, Executive Member (Towns and Communities) said: "The projects being developed with Levelling Up Fund monies are crucial to unlocking the potential regeneration of Ashton town centre. We've listened to the feedback given so far and have used the information to draw up the draft plans. I would encourage everyone to complete the survey and give their views. This will help to ensure we are shaping the town centre in a way that meets all needs for the future and help make it a place where everyone wants to live, work and spend time in, a place to be proud of."
The survey is now open for a period of 4 weeks until Monday 5 December 2022. You can view the plans and complete the survey at www.tameside.gov.uk/ashtontowncentre. An event will be held in the Market Hall where people will have chance to speak with members of the team. Details of the event will be provided soon.
Following consultation, if plans are approved by Executive Cabinet, early works to market Square could start as soon as spring 2023 with the main works being undertaken from early 2024 until 31 March 2025.