Ashton Market Square Tameside Council p. Tameside Council

The nearly £11m project is estimated to be complete by March 2025. Credit: via Tameside Council

Tameside sets out £11m Ashton Market Square strategy

Work is expected to begin on the “modern market for everyone” early next year, with the council due to present its final strategy for the town’s centre at its executive cabinet meeting today.

Standing out in the proposals for the redevelopment of Ashton Market Square is the introduction of a large canopy. The canopy could include a space designated for events, as well as the capacity for eight kiosks, stalls, and seating. 

An informal play area and heritage interpretation zone are also proposed.

Additionally, suggestions include improved accessibility through street-level changes, cycle parking, and increased signage and visibility of the Town Hall and Market Hall.

Market Square and the outdoor market is currently made up of 104 fixed market stalls and eight kiosk facilities, partially redeveloped in 2015.

LK Group is the project manager leading the overall scheme. A multi-disciplinary team led by Planit-IE is preparing the strategy for the full redevelopment of Ashton Market Square. 

The nearly £11m project will be part-funded by Tameside’s £20m Levelling Up Fund award from the government. The rest will come from Tameside Council.

It is expected that work will be completed by March 2025 subject to planning permission, in line with the Levelling Up Fund agreement. 

Construction of the scheme will begin once planning permission is received. Works will be phased to minimise disruption to trading on the outdoor market.

The redevelopment of Market Square and the outdoor market is phase one of a wider Public Realm Strategy covering the whole of Ashton town centre. 

Phase two’s strategy will be submitted to Tameside Council’s executive this summer.

Here is a breakdown of the delivery timescales for phase one:

  • March 2023 – January 2024: Detailed design 
  • May 2023 – August 2023: Planning application process
  • May 2023: Start of early physical works including the removal of redundant stalls
  • February 2024: Procurement of contractor
  • February 2024 – March 2025: Main construction

Your Comments

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How many times will this council keep developing the market square. The town is dead, people shopping habits have changed. Another waste of money.

By Anonymous

When will Tameside council remember that there are other towns in Tameside, which need levelling up with all the money continually being spent on Ashton-under-Lyne.

By Phil Smith

How much money can they waste?

By Anonymous

Should be spent elsewhere, the market has been improved recently and we have just had a new bus station.

By Man from stalybridge

How about a tram service extension up to Oldham or stalybridge

By Anonymous

What is happening to other Tameside towns?

By Anonymous

What a complete waste of money once again

By Anonymous

The council have wreck the market and they are going to do so again. I went to farmers market on the last Sunday of the month the last two months and this have the anything there because they are rectic all

By Anonymous

Do Tameside not know that social care is more important

By Anonymous

Yet another refurbishment of Ashton Market when they want to close Stalybridge’s beautiful library & art gallery (the Cheetham family will be spinning in their grave) Stalybridge old market hall’s roof is leaking. Then they want to refurbishment Ashton Town centre when all the other town centres in Tameside are going to rack & ruin for goodness sake Tameside council care about the whole of the area. Please don’t quote the heritage corridor in Stalybridge as the temporary closing of Market Street has cost businesses dearly. Get your act together.

By Anonymous

More money for Ashton!!!!!

By Tom

Another waste of money spent on Ashton market.We in Dukinfield nead a Swimming baths and leisure centre.

By Roger

Tameside Council are experts of wasting money on their flagship (“Ashton-under-Lyne”), projects started then cancelled half way through! Let’s have a look at them: Stamford Street (now in total decline), civic building, market place, bus station, the original central library, ‘the’ old baths, Old Street redevelopment, George Street, Ashton central swimming pool and gym, the wholesale decline of Ashton-under-Lyne. Public areas turned into alcohol and drug sectors. The council have the belief that they have pots of money too waste money, money from increased council tax and we also have a mayor of Greater Manchester who is also on a mission of his own eg the clean air fallacy (400 number recognition camera’s now being used by the police and other agencies without public discussion!)

By Peter

Made a mess of it first time around!

Money put towards improving pavements! As a person with a disability and not has pavements in our street renewed for 33 years and forced to walk in the road to get down my street – spend on these issues instead of the market!

By Anonymous

Should this go to a public vote , before wasting more money when you look at the state of Tameside?

By Anonymous

Complete waste of money,.walking from the car park towards the market is a disgrace, rubbish everywhere. They should spend the money on nicer towns in the Tameside area

By Anonymous

£11m would build a LOT of much needed homes for Tameside….. priorities are completely wrong.

By Barry Cook

Tameside council spending millions on Ashton at the expence of the rest of borough?…… nothing new there

By Steve M

How much more money are they going to waste, doing the same places up, then they never really make much difference.

By Anonymous

I really think this money could be better spent. Providing a canopy for occasional stalls will not increase footfall into Ashton. Free parking and cheaper rents for business. We need good shops to attract people to Ashton. The council wasted money moving the bus station which was not necessary. Also Ashton needs cleaning up. Litter and old buildings are a mess

By Mary

Another waste of money, vis a viz
Petersfield project, tĥe first aborted attempt on the market the town hall a lovely old building left deserted. TAC built in 80’s demolished 30 years, a now half empty shopping precinct looking shabby. Tameside 1, council offices newly built now half empty because staff working at home!
Add these together and between you, you have enough white èlehants to make a herd.
Why not make market into a car park to provide shoppers somewhere to park when they come to shop in any shops that remain !!!!!!

By Derek hampson from mossley (a tameside outpost)

I think Hyde needs it more.

By Anonymous

Another white elephant to join the rest of the councils herd.
TAC. Tameside 1. The town hall.
Petersfield. Ladysmith shopping precinct!
Why not turn the market ground into a car park to accomidate the shoppers who venture to shop at the ever shrinking number of shops.
Think twice before you venture on another money wasting exercise!!

By Derek hampson

Obscene to waste all this money on Ashton Under Lyne Market.They need to consider the other towns in Tameside.They are always trying to revive the old market but it still seems to remain a run down town.

By Paul griffiths

Tameside Council have systematically ruined all the markets, Droylsden, Hyde,Ashton,Stalybridge as well as wasting money on the bus station, new town hall, need I go on!
The Council need to ask the people who pay their wages what they would like improving!!

By Droylsden Resident

This is abhorrent. The constant negligence of the rest of tameside continues. Ashton is not the capital of tameside! The council are blinkered and so far out of touch with the feelings of the people of tameside. Stop it now and spread the investment.

By Phillip Edwards

What a complete waste of money as usual tameside council haven’t got a clue! It will just go back to being a ghost town, but we all have to pay for something that will happen again so wrong

By Kaye

A complete waste of money, they have ruined the market and market ground with so called “improvements” already, just want to throw money away.

By Anonymous

Ged Cooney and other councillors please start listening to your constituents stop wasting our money on vanity projects in ashton

By Anonymous

Everything is spent on Ashton all other areas are left to deteriorate, To see Droylsden now makes me want to cry no shops or market

By Anonymous

More millions wasted in the awful Ashton town centre. Lipstick on a pig!

By Anonymous

Save the money and spend it on cutting council tax . Online shopping is the new market place . Simple !! Outdoor market was upgraded 10 years ago. And it didn’t improve . In fact it was worse . So . Investment in parks and recreation area better spent . Outdoor market places have their day. Unfortunately. 75% of people now shop online for bargains . Soo 🤣🤣 don’t waste the money !!!!

By Paul Michael McCarthy

What another complete waste of money. They redeveloped Ashton market only a few years back and it didn’t make any difference. The place is still a dump and its pointless trying to attract more shoppers to a place where people dont have any money to spend. Why don’t they spend it on something that will benefit the whole of tameside like improving our pot hole ridden roads, pavements or social care.

By Anonymous

To me the outside market over the years has been ruined by ugly development, it looks like a plastic toy town. There is already a square inside the precinct develope this are a, with a cover. A fountain , a bandstand, bring life into it.

By Denis schofield

Has anyone thought about doing work on Droylsden centre. It is going downhill rapidly, we pay our council tax but not seeing anything being done to encourage businesses and not just pubs and take aways. Droylsden was once a great place to live but now it’s just neglected

By Anonymous

As a person who was born and grew up in Ashton, I find this proposal absolutely ridiculous! Ashton used to be such a beautiful little Market town but now, it’s all so depressing and grim! There are so many businesses boarded up as you travel around Ashton Town centre. It really is sad to see. I think there are much better ways to spend 11 million pounds and can somebody please explain what on earth a “heritage interpretation zone” is? Ashton Town centre looks terrible at the moment. Please scrap this lunatic idea and find a better way to inject these funds directly back into the community, where they can make a real difference!

By Anonymous

Waste of money as per usual. No one asked for this, no vote. Using 11 million of money from mainly poor working class people to build something that benefits the community 0%. Build something for the young people as the real problem in tameside and Ashton is crime and drugs. Joke

By Anonymous

They are wasting money, there are more important things needed in the borough. All the towns have been ruined by this council. There are some beautiful buildings that are just being left to rot, these need money spending on them. Look at the Stamford Park Conservatory. We want that to be restored, people are begging to be able to restore it but you won’t listen. When will you start listening to the people of these towns and what we want. Everywhere looks scruffy, dirty and in need of some tlc. Please will you start to listen to us.

By Anonymous

Tameside Council should take a leaf out of Bury Markets book. This is a proper Market which attracts a lot of people. Perhaps they can include Hyde, and other Tameside towns that are dying in their funding. It’s always about Ashton, which is really just a dump now!

By Tina Roberts

Why, this is an absolute waste of money & time. They should be trying to get business back. Ashton market used to be full all the time, they made the 1st lot of improvements, now look at the market its EMPTY. You think by spending more money will bring in business, NO it wont, you need to lower rents for all the stalls, stores etc not drive it even further into the ground, get a grip & stop wasting money. Why not put it to building more homes

By Anonymous

If it takes as long as the last time it won’t be ready till year 2040 so slow at doing thing .start it now.

By Anonymous

Please look at droylsden center it’s dreadful

By Anonymous

And what happens to the rest of tameside such as Stalybridge which needs money revitalising it. Denton and Hyde need money spent on them but it always seems to be just Ashton yet it is still like a ghost town.

By Jackie

Yet another example of wasting tax payers money ,the council thought it was a good idea to revamp the market after the “fire” and that didn’t really work now the down and outs use it for free ,there some traders using it but I would bet on a shoestring ,but this council knows best they have had lots of experience in wasting other people’s money .

By Brian g

Once again Shameside councillors grab the bulk of funding for their town centre. The remaining towns in the borough being left with whatever crumbs fall out of the council trough! It should be remembered that ALL towns had thriving, well supported markets until they were closed by the actions or inaction of this same council

By Jeffrey Keyworth

Will be a waste of money, the damage was done after the fire and Tameside took too long to re-open the market hall all those many years ago. M & S also contributed to the decline when they moved maybe 😢 they could do with consulting members of the public and traders to see what they all think

By Anonymous

People need to use their vote in the next elections and get rid of these wasters!

By Dentonian

Please please Ashton Council think again what what you are doing to this once lovely thriving Town. I no longer live there but do visit sometimes and it is just depressing and dirty. Think again Shameside and take a good look at Bury and copy. It is a pleasure to visit which I do quite often. But not Ashton so much. So get your act together and for that amount of money I’m sure someone can come up with some better ideas

By Old ahtonian

What about stalybridge we get nothing Ashton-under-Lyne get it ALL.

By Paul

104 fixed stalls of which 100 of them stay empty day after day . Ashton Market wouldn’t need fixing if tameside council hadn’t wrecked it in the first place . And I bet at least a million of that money will go on fancy food and drinks while you all chat about wheres best to waste money

By Anonymous

This many comments it’s almost like someone somewhere isn’t really listening

By Anonymous

How much more money are they going to spend on this place when other towns need improving .

By Anonymous

Why? Do they not see that their mismanagement and inability to get it right has left the rest of Tameside in Tatters..

By Anonymous

The comments on here are just stupid.

The people going on about it being a ‘waste of money’ say that about every bit of investment and every plan that comes forward. I’ll never understand why people like to talk down and degrade the area they live, it baffles me. It also seems these same people have fantastic foresight and can predict the future. When the outdoor market was last upgraded to some extent in 2015 (over 8 years ago) the market had much higher occupancy rates, still a majority of the stalls were full. Obviously occupancy rates have declined since and dramatically fell during covid, a situation not unique to Tameside. The local and national economies massively shifted in that time. The feedback given to this strategy has made clear there is still a desire for a market and we should absolutely support the remaining traders, I don’t hear anyone sensible saying anything different. So we have to have a new plan that will sustain the market for the future, address a number of ongoing issues, particularly relating to ASB and even encourage people to come on to the market as traders in a modern environment.

These things cost money though, given the spend timeframe for the grant money and inflation where it is, it isn’t going to be cheap. We’re talking about a significant amount of work completely overhauling one of the largest market grounds in Europe. If people are sensible that all makes sense. 1

By Anonymous

On the issue of where money is being spent, the council has very limited capital funds for a whole range of areas. Like all local authorities, Tameside is reliant on securing external grant funding to progress plans. The government and other agencies are instant that many of these pots of money are to be ‘competitive’ basically making areas scrap between each other a small pot of money. All this, making winners and losers, instead of just distributing the money based on need over a spending review period. That’s the way it use to be done. Not only does that ensure some plans can be progressed but it also it means the local authority has more control over where it goes. The issue with bidding and grants is it is so heavily regulated, saying where and when grant money can be spent. It’s not an acceptable way to do business. 2

By Anonymous

I’d also point out in relation to number of factors that: the new transport interchange was fully granted funded, it didn’t cost Tameside a penny. The old one was over 40 years old, was leaking and miserable. I think any bus users that used that area would agree. On Ashley Cheethams Art Gallery and Library, there are no plans to close it, in fact the opposite it true, it will be upgraded and a new lift will be installed to make it accessible to all. Issues with the Civic Hall roof have been well noted, it has been hit with unfortunate circumstances, such as rising inflating with building materials and a back log in getting materials (the exact same issue with the heritage walk). A decision was also made to delay works so the Civic Hall space could be fully utilised for the Town of Culture events programme, which can be seen as a delays for a positive reason.

By Anonymous

Tameside council have shamelessly abandoned droylsden have spent virtually zero on it in the last 15 years yet ashton gets millions upon millions one building new transport hub refurbishment of town hall Petersfield new college building. They should have to walk around droylsden and feel the shame we have to feel its an embarrassment. Other towns in tameside deserve funding too leveling up don’t make me laugh

By Anonymous

To be honest every time I go to Ashton market all as I can smell is cannabis, groups of youths causing trouble, rubbish everywhere, expensive parking when you can get a space ,this needs sorting out before tameside do anything to the market ,also lack of seating for elderly and disabled, its that bad on the market it needs policeing

By Anonymous

I think it’s a waste of money .As at moment Market Square empty .I have spoke to stall holders And they say to expensive to run also will this attract more unsocial drinking and drug smoking etc which is going on at moment ie as yesterday the 30th March 9.30 in the morning. Sorry the days of market’s they have gone.

By Albert Anderson

All the Councillors are up for election in May, ask all the candidates for their views.

By Anonymous

This is great idea ! we can not wait no longer to see new Ashton Town Square! This place have big potential. Ashton is place like no other.

By Boris Johnson

More money wasted !!!The outdoor market should have been left alone in the first place, it was thriving and all the decent stallholders were lost during the last upheaval.There isn’t much evidence of any progress with the Town Hall either, maybe we could have an update on that or will it be another abandoned project ?The town centre was once labelled as “unfit for purpose”by this council..Maybe its the council who are unfit for purpose !!

By Ann English

When are you going to stop trying to polish a turd

By Anonymous

Outdoor market stalls should be fully covered with lowered down ceiling at all the corners

By Mohinder pal

Clueless council as usual, yet somehow they keep getting re-elected?? We need someone with bold ideas to attract people to invest in the Tameside area. I always say the best thing about Ashton is that it’s easy to get out of with all the transport links we have.!!


The outdoor market is wrecked now, that bus has well and truly passed.Cut your losses, get rid of it and bring someone in who knows what they are doing !!!Where is the 20 million given by the government??

By Ann English

Another complete waste of money. The last re-development of the market destroyed the farmer’s market. This used to be a really good. I continue to patronize it if I can but the number of stalls is now down to 4 or 5. I would much rather the money was spent on keeping the swimming pools open. We are always being told how overweight the population is but closing swimming pools won’t help!

By Charles

Let’s hope the do not touch the indoor market hall.
That place is a pillar of the community and the main reason it’s thriving is the quality of the traditional stalls that the area depends upon.
Let’s hope and pray they don’t make a mess of the beloved market hall, if so then I’m sure Angela Raynor will get involved to make sure they do not dismantle or change the indoor market hall.

By Jon

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