Produce Hall

Stockport closes in on ‘food destination’ deal

A report will go before Stockport Council’s economy and regeneration scrutiny committee on Thursday seeking permission to enter into negotiations with a tenant or tenants for the Produce Hall and 28-29 Market Place, with the intention that an operator will be up and running by summer 2018.

In July, Stockport’s cabinet approved the plan to secure an anchor tenant with the ability to make the market area a food and drink destination, with an extended hours offer being a key part of the deal. The council, which is advised by Barker Proudlove, is looking to add momentum to an area where operators such as Where the Light Gets In, The Allotment and the Baker’s Vaults have improved the leisure offer.

The grade two-listed hall offers 3,300 sq ft at ground floor level and a 900 sq ft mezzanine, while the Blackshaws building at 28-29 Market Place totals 1,400 sq ft. The cabinet delegated authority to the corporate director for place management and regeneration and the deputy chief executive to run the process.

By the mid-September closing date, the council had received four submissions, one of which was subsequently withdrawn. All bidders have now been interviewed by a selection panel, which has made a unanimous decision on its preferred operator, a detail that remains confidential. Should lease terms be approved at cabinet level, an announcement could be made in late November.

BlackshawsAn agreement has been reached with community health organisation and cafe operator Pure Innovations, the current tenant of Blackshaws, to relocate to Prince’s Street, where it will occupy a vacant unit owned by the council from early 2018. Negotiations with Produce Hall traders about relocating within the market are ongoing.

As far as the market as a whole is concerned, the management contract is currently out to tender, with a new operator due to be appointed by the end of March. The report added that the animation of the area continues, with a series of specialist markets due to run from January, for which an operator has been signed.

The council is delivering a £7m investment programme in the markets and Underbank area. A heritage manager has now been appointed to lead on a Stage 2 Heritage Lottery Fund bid, which covers a range of interventions such as the overhaul of the clock at Joseph Holt’s Winters Wine Bar.

Planning and listed building consent has been secured for the conversion of the White Lion pub into apartments by Trafford Housing Trust.

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Foodie Friday is as good a food market as I’ve been! The quality of the food and atmosphere make it , why not have it on every weekend !

By James Yarwood

Sounding very interesting and forward looking. With the right investment and people in place this should regenerate the
Market area.

By Susan Howard

The under bank and hillgate area was the ancient way into Stockport before wellington rd was built. Money should have been invested in this area long ago and maintained, rather than wasting money on the red rock monstrosity in Stockport.

By Harry bowers

The best people to manage and run the market area must be a mix of the market traders themselves and the Seven Miles Out guys, for no other reason that they’ve been there for years, in some cases decades. It’s their business, which they want to improve, they have the experience and knowledge of what works, so what ever is good for them, will be good for the market and surrounding area by default !
It’s as simple as that, anyone from the council who decides otherwise is making the wrong decision and questions need to be asked why. There has already been some well publishised “stuff” in the recent past involving some council members “leaving “ , let’s not have anymore of the same.

By Anonymous

The proof is there month after month – a well supported enjoyable event for all ages – Foody Friday brings people out in their droves whatever the weather. Imagine better facilities, more covered seating areas and the perfect central location from which to run future events thus creating even more interest in our Old Town. Seven Miles Out has it’s own fanbase too – young and old – where else can 3 generations sit and enjoy music and chat in such quirky surroundings?It is a unique venue! It all makes perfect sense – invest in our historical Market Place and attract more people to the area for the right reasons.The Foody Friday Teams’ proposition is fantastic and very professional presented. To give it to someone else would be a travesty – they have the vision, passion and commitment to make it work – I really hope the Councils committee see that this is a fantastic opportunity to invest and build on success already achieved – thus bringing more businesses – generating money, to develop the market place and make it prosper into something really special we can be proud of.

By Victoria Louise Collard

Do the right thing and invest in your heritage,foodie Fri is brilliant and deserves a permanant spot here,bringing more people and money into this lovely spot,agree that money should of been invested into this historic area rather than the UGLY RED ROCK!

By Leander Harrington