Altrincham Market Hall is a reminder that buildings aren’t just bricks and mortar; they have a life to them, hundreds of people passing through it over the years creating a rich tapestry of shared experience and a heritage that means the community is invested in it.
It’s a powerful example of the results that will follow when you give a place a heart.
Listed back in 1879, the building needed vision and ambition and received just that in the shape of Nick Johnson, who saw its potential. A beautiful, interesting structure, in 2014, it was given a new lease of life with a £175,000 refurbishment, the success of which has reverberated far beyond its own four walls.
The redevelopment of this single building, albeit a special one with a rich history, has been the fuel for the creation of one of the region’s retail and leisure successes, the catalyst that saw life once again return to a neglected town centre battling with declining footfall, loss of business to the Trafford Centre and competition with e-commerce retailers.
Brimming with character, the rebirth of Altrincham Market Hall as a foodie destination had enormous repercussions for Altrincham town centre and its high street. Now home to designer clothing retailer, Flannels, and with an eclectic mix of independents and big brand retail, it’s a world away from the 30 per cent vacancy rates that had become the norm in the town before its renaissance.
Completely unique, with a curated collection of eateries and a consistent focus on quality, it has created a reason for people of all ages to visit Altrincham; an experience they can’t find elsewhere.
Beyond its clever design and its characterful interior, the vision of the team behind the Market’s modern-day guise has been central to its success, as has the spirit of the community around it – an essential ingredient for any regeneration project.
Altrincham Market is more than just a building – it has put the town on the map.
As a new decade nears, throughout December Place North West will be publishing views from the property industry on the best buildings completed between 2000 and 2019, highlighting the design and development successes of the past 20 years.
To take part in the series, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestion for the best North West building of the 2000s, and a member of the editorial team will be in touch.