Market Place Photo

Stockport launches search for market operator

Stockport Council has started its search for an operator and manager to run the town’s historic market, six months after picking restaurateur Steve Pilling as the preferred trader for the neighbouring Produce Hall and Market Place.

The town’s market, including an outdoor space and a glass-covered market hall, has traded in the same location since 1260 and the council is now looking to appoint a manager and operator to create a “strong, diverse, and attractive” offer for the space.

“The council’s vision for Stockport Market is that it will be a location that is a vibrant area with a range of activities and animation on offer, which capitalise on the unique environment and attract different audiences to the area,” said the council.

A management contract is expected to begin by September and run for four years, with an option for a two-year renewal, meaning the management and operation deal could run up to 2025.

The operator for the market would work alongside Steve Pilling, picked last year as the preferred tenant for the Produce Hall and Market Place, a decision which has paved the way for a major food destination in the town.

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.

Pilling’s appointment had proved controversial with the team behind Foodie Friday, a monthly street food event held in the town, which accused the council of “prioritising the corporate desire of its executives over the needs of the local community”.

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here

I heard a rumour that Steve Pilling has plans to fit canopies to the front of the grade 2 listed Food Hall. Any response from the Council on this?

By Realist

You heard a “rumour” about something that would require planning permission, and listed building consent, and want the Council to respond to that?

By Anon

What happened to the regeneration in 2002 which killed the traditional market and promised European style dining etc. Took new and small businesses who invested thousands to failure, when there were structural works on the market prohibiting pedestrians/shoppers. Only allowed to open three days a week I think John Granger was the development manager. We are 15 years on and still not a successful situation so Mr. Pilling I wish you well it reminds me of the change from the successful hen market to the disastrous redevelopment and now Food Friday as word was getting around how good it was it all starts again. Such a shame I am 54 and have visited the beautiful market all my life with my grandmother, mother, my children and have watched it diminish. Thank goodness the beautiful buildings remain.

By Angela Martin

Perhaps he meant canapés?

By Anon

Good news. High time the old tat blighting the market was turfed out in favour of something more modern and dynamic to try and draw back punters.

By Anon