Oldham Council’s Licensing Panel has approved a report that would see Shaw Market remain on Market Street permanently.

The decision was made following the end of a consultation period with residents, traders, business owners and other interested parties.

Back in August the local authority approved the market’s temporary new home in a bold bid to help it thrive.

Following years of declining numbers of stalls it was hoped the move would attract new customers and stallholders by putting it nearer to the busy shopping area.

Now, according to positive feedback from a number of stallholders and businesses on Market Street, this seems to be the case.

Those who took part in the consultation included the proprietor of Uppercutz, who said the move had made Thursdays busier; Bronwen Hamer from Age UK who commented that footfall must have improved in shops; and Lee Marsh, from Inflicted by Ink, who added that the move had been ‘fantastic’.

In an email to the panel, stallholder Jo Sykes said the difference in trade since the market moved had been phenomenal.
She added: “I’ve spoken to my fellow traders and every one of us has seen an upturn in business. The amount of new customers we’re seeing is amazing and even more surprising, the amount of customers who are now revisiting the market and Shaw as a whole is astounding.”

“One of the main things that people are commenting on is the difference in the atmosphere and how much of a community feel it’s brought to Shaw.”

Cissie Barlow’s Sweet Shop, said: “I have been really pleased with the results so far – our takings have been greater than I would have expected for the time of year. There has been a really nice atmosphere on Market Street and customer feedback has been predominantly positive.”

A number of businesses did object and their views were taken into account.

Councillor Eddie Moores, Deputy Cabinet Member for Economy and Enterprise, said: “First of all I’d like to thank everyone that took part in this consultation. We can assure them their views were taken into account and formed the basis for the panel’s final decision.”

“The overwhelming response from the consultation was that people want the market on Market Street permanently and we are happy to make that happen.”

“Oldham Council supports local businesses so doing nothing was no longer an option. The declining number of stallholders on the old site shows that if that trend had continued Shaw Market may not have existed at all in a few years.”

“Shaw Market isn’t just a set of traders and stalls; it’s a community event that is valued by many local residents.”

“Hopefully the market can thrive for many years to come – our officers have already been approached by seven new traders interested in opening stalls.”

The Council has committed to invest up to £120,000 to make the market move permanent.