by Joanne O’Connell
Far-sighted investment by the council has helped Bolton to create a blueprint for sustainable markets.
The lunchtime crowd can’t get enough of the spicy Cameroonian curries and rice, wrapped in banana leaves. The traders grinding fresh, specialty coffee are also doing a cracking trade; TV chef Simon Rimmer showcases seasonal foods in his cooking demos; and, at the micro-bar, they are handing out samples of locally brewed craft beers.
This isn’t Borough Market, London: this is Bolton – and if you want a glimpse of what a sustainable market of the future should look like, industry experts claim you should look no further.
Three years ago, however, it was a different story. The market was popular with locals, and its food outlets were winning awards, including Best Food Market at the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2011. But the building was run down: even loyal customers were complaining about the state of the loos and the lack of decent baby-changing facilities. The roof was in a bad state of repair and the building – as Jackie Casey, general market manager at Bolton market, admits – “was not fit for purpose”.
Food markets are often neglected by local councils, which fail to recognise their social capital, so organisations – such as the National Market Traders Federation – have been waging vigorous campaigns to try to reverse this problem.
But Bolton council took a modern, radical approach. Casey says: “The council understands the value of the market; it employs 500 local people and supports 300 small businesses.”
May 20, 2014 0A NEW weekly market is to be opened in the refurbished historic Market Square at Midhurst.
May 16, 2014 0
Mar 26, 2014 0