THE much-needed revamp of Macclesfield Indoor Market will attract more independent traders and increase the ever-improving footfall in the town centre, a councillor said.

Cllr Nick Mannion (Lab) was speaking as the economy and growth committee this week gave the go-ahead for council officers to select and enter into a contract with a provider for the refurbishment works.

The Macclesfield councillor said there are currently 220 independent businesses in the town centre area.

Northwich Guardian: Cllr Nick MannionCllr Nick Mannion (Image: Cheshire East Council)

“That’s up on what the figure was pre-pandemic and I think that’s the future of our town centres,” said Cllr Mannion.

“We can’t rely on a Primark or a TK Maxx or whatever coming in.

“We’ve got to grow it ourselves and the indoor market in Macclesfield is a key link in that chain.

“It’s an opportunity for people wanting to start their own business perhaps, but haven’t the confidence or the resources to take a lease on a shop premises in the town centre, to try their idea out on an indoor market stall.”

Northwich Guardian: Macclesfield Indoor MarketMacclesfield Indoor Market (Image: Cheshire East Council)

The market refurbishment will be funded by £1.5m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund UKSPF).

Works under consideration include accessible stalls with shutters; communal seating space with screening; re-positioned stalls to increase visibility; new or repaired floor; greater number of stalls with facilities for food preparation and improvements to the Churchill Way entrance and the entrance from the Grosvenor Centre.

Northwich Guardian: Cllr Fiona WilsonCllr Fiona Wilson (Image: Cheshire East Council)

Macclesfield councillor Fiona Wilson (Lab) said she was excited by the project, which was a ‘brilliant example’ of the town council and Cheshire East working together.

“I think that, looking round at other markets available in Cheshire East and also in the rest of the country, the designs that have been brought forward, the shared seating areas and creating something similar to other successful markets, is very much welcomed,” she said.

“We've got Treacle Market, of course, which is a big creator of footfall into the town centre, and the footfall figures for Macclesfield are improving all the time.”

Cllr Janet Clowes (Wybunbury, Con) asked about access to the market in the evenings, when the Grosvenor Centre wasn’t open at night.

Northwich Guardian: Cllr Janet ClowesCllr Janet Clowes (Image: Cheshire East Council)

“In terms of the success of a revamped indoor market, what we have found in Crewe particularly, it’s the ability to operate in the evenings and at night and have events there and to expand the use,” said Cllr Clowes.

“So attract the footfall in, so they actually recognise there is a market there as well as whatever it is they’ve come for.”

She added: “We don’t own the Grosvenor Centre part, how are we going to get around that?

“It would be a shame not to utilise our new market place to the full when it’s finished.”

The committee was told officers were in talks with the Grosvenor Centre about the refurbishment project.

Councillors also heard about plans to make the market more visible from Churchill Way.

Mr Jarvis said: “There’s three very large murals we’re looking at to make it into a landmark so that people can actually see and recognise where the market entrance is and drive people in through the Churchill Way entrance.”

The committee was unanimous in backing the scheme and giving officers the green light to find a contractor for the works.