VIDEO: THE brand new multi-million pound Warrington Market is on schedule to open for business at 9am on Monday, June 15.
Opening a new market in normal times is never easy, but doing it in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has brought a whole host of new issues, to ensure it can open safely for traders, staff and customers.
Market manager Andy Ward, who over saw the demolition of the former market and the move to the temporary market is now busy preparing for the opening of the brand new facility on June 15.
He took time out from his bust schedule to give a guide tour of the facility (see above.)
Commenting on the ongoing works to open during the pandemic Mr ward said: ” It has been a nightmare to be honest! The working conditions with PPE have not been easy, especialy during the very warm weather.
“Come the 15th of June we have got to be careful how many people we let in at one time and there will be a strict one way system.
“We have been working through very difficut circumstances. But it will be a credit to Warrington but it couldn’t have come at a worse time.”
Others taking part in the tour included leader of the council Cllr. Russ Bowden and Mayor of Warrington Cllr. Wendy Johnson.
Cllr Bowden said: “Warrington Market is a key part of the regeneration of Time Square and the town centre. I’ve every confidence it will be a vibrant part of the town centre. It will include an exciting food court and become a destination.”
The current, temporary market building will close to customers on Saturday 6 June, as traders prepare to relocate to the new building.
The current market building has been open for nearly three years since Warrington Market traders moved into the temporary facility, as part of the wider Time Square development. The new market was due to open in April, but was unfortunately delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and now the traders’ long awaited move to their new permanent home is here.
The large, open plan building, which features a mezzanine floor, escalators, a spacious food court and an outdoor terrace is the latest addition to the council’s flagship Time Square development.
The new market will feature local independent operators, with some familiar faces and some new traders. The building will open in phases, with the first phase, on Monday 15 June, being fresh produce and food retailers, including butchers, fishmongers, deli and a greengrocer, alongside a range of other goods and services.
The second phase will include the opening of the new food court, serving a variety of hot and cold cuisines, and close contact, personal services such as hairdressers, will follow in early July, subject to government guidance.