A VIBRANT new artisan market is to run in Ashton on the last Saturday of every month to boost the local shopping offer.

Ashton Artisan market, which launches on Saturday 24 April, will be held in Ashton Market Square and involve up to 100 traders selling a range of high quality handmade artisan goods and delicious street food alongside entertainment from local musicians.

The monthly destination shopping event, organised by Tameside Council’s markets team working in partnership The Market Co, is an opportunity to breathe new life into the town centre as it emerges from the Covid pandemic – supporting local traders while also enhancing the offer for shoppers.

If successful then it could lead the way for opportunities for similar events in other Tameside towns.

Tameside Council Markets Manager Steve Hadfield said “This type of high quality destination event is exactly what the town needs as we welcome back shoppers, and is the ideal platform to kickstart our ambition to bring vibrant activity across Tameside as we ease out of the pandemic. While we want the event to be a success, it is essential that the safety of the town centre retailers and visitors remains the upmost priority so we ask that everyone follows the COVID-secure safety measures we have in place to help keep everyone safe.”

Denise Valente, director at The Market Co, said: “High streets need people to return to them – especially after the pandemic, when people are going to be wary – so we need to give them a good reason to come. When we have held events in other areas across Greater Manchester footfall has skyrocketed – but more importantly, it highlights to people that might not go into town as often what else there is to offer, so they keep coming back at other times of the month.

“All the traders will have masks and there are extensive sanitary regulations they have to adhere to. We encourage full social distancing for traders and customers, and for the public to wear face masks, while we have free-standing hand sanitiser stations. We want people to feel comfortable to come to the event and for traders to feel safe.”

The market event will run between 10am to 4pm every last Saturday of the month. More information can be found by visiting https://themarketco.co.uk/markets/ashton-artisan-market/