Market Place Management, the operator behind Christmas markets in both Exeter and Belfast and the refurbished Harborough Market, has been chosen by Stockport Council to operate the town’s historic market hall.
The council launched a procurement process to find an operator in May this year and has now picked Market Place Management as its preferred operator for the next five years.
The council said the company would “bring a vast range of specialist market management skills, expertise and years of experience” to Stockport, and said its appointment would be finalised in the coming weeks.
The company’s remit covers the historic market place and the covered market hall; the outdoor space and glass-covered hall has traded in the same location since 1260.
Market Place Management is headed up by chief executive Nick Rhodes, who has been with the company since 2011, and the company was founded in 2004 by Allan Hartwell and Ian Hill.
Alongside market place operation, the company also runs market events throughout the UK, with upcoming projects including the Ilkley festival; the Newcastle international market; Wigan international market; and markets in Halifax and Sheffield.
The company will operate the market for the next five years, with an option for a further two-year extension.
Market Place Management will join restaurateur Steve Pilling in Stockport, who was chosen as tenant for the Produce Hall, a decision which has paved the way for a major food destination in the town.
Cllr Kate Butler, cabinet member for economy and regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “Our ambition is for Stockport Market Place to become a vibrant and popular destination every day of the week.
“The markets are central to our vision and now the Covered Market Hall is at 100% occupancy and with rising footfall, Market Place Europe’s specialist managers will be key in making sure it continues to go from strength to strength, with a strong offer and benefitting from the council’s investment throughout the whole Market Place and Underbanks area and across the wider town centre.”
Rhodes added: “We believe that by working closely with the Council and partners to help fulfil the vision for Stockport Market Place we can secure the future of this historic market, enabling future generations to enjoy a vibrant and animated market offer. We have many exciting proposals to deliver and are currently busy preparing to hit the ground running in September.”