FOR generations the marketplace has been at the heart Hyde town centre – acting as a magnet for those needing to shop, meeting up with friends or watching the world go by.
But in recent years there have been concerns that the declining state of the market area was deterring shoppers and traders from the town centre.
Following his election in 2010, Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds spoke to a number of market traders about the marketplace – passing their concerns directly to the council. And now Tameside Council has addressed many of those concerns, as part of a £1.2million refurbishment programme.
Changes have been made to the number and layout of the market stalls, street clutter has been removed and the old tram stop has been refurbished – making the market better to look at and easier to navigate.
At the heart of the market area there is now a new Civic Square, which Mr Reynolds hopes will become a central focus for the Hyde community in the future.
“The marketplace has been the focus of life in Hyde for generations,” said Mr Reynolds MP. “And the investment by Tameside Council means that it will continue to be the heart of the town for many years to come.
“There had been real concerns that the market had been allowed to fall into disrepair and that it no longer appealed to shoppers n the same way that it had.
“But now – as a result if the changes - it is now much easier to shop in the market area than it was and many of the concerns raised by shoppers and traders have been addressed.
“The new civic square offers the potential for public events, entertainment and exhibitions – and I hope it will prove popular with residents from Hyde and beyond.”
The refurbishment project – during which six young people received training as modern apprentices during construction – was completed last month. And on September 29 its completion was celebrated with a fun-day that included stilt walkers, face painting, balloon modelling and craft workshops.
Mr Reynolds is pictured with at the fun day alongside local councillor Philip Fitzpatrick, Mayor Brenda Warrington and Council Leader Kieran Quinn.
Commenting on the refurbishment, Cllr Philip Fitzpatrick, chair of Hyde District Assembly, said: “This work will enhance the distinctiveness of the town centre and make it a place more people want to visit. “Hyde has so much to offer. The indoor market hall has a wonderful mix of stalls and bargains. And to make it easier for people to use the shops we have free parking after 3pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.”
Published Tuesday 9 October, 2012