Latest news from around Ashton…
Tameside Christmas Market – a BIG thank you
A big thank you to everyone who came along to Tameside Christmas Market this year, supporting local traders and helping to raise nearly £3,000 for local charities.
The event, which this year was organised by our award-winning markets team, attracted thousands of visitors who enjoyed the the three weekends of festive fun.
Santa’s Grotto proved particularly popular with 1000 visitors helping to raise nearly £2,800 for the Civic Mayor’s Appeal Fund which supports local good causes.
The family-friendly focus continued with free funfair and donkey rides, children’s crafts and walkabout characters as well as visits from real reindeer.
The Christmas market also boasted over 20 traditional cabin stalls – built by Tameside College students – selling a range of speciality gifts, crafts, food and drink from local traders.
While visitors enjoyed fantastic entertainment from local brass bands, choirs, singers and dance groups over the three weekends.
Traders gave great feedback during the event, reporting that they had made their rent money back within a few hours of opening and complimenting on the work of litter pickers, market staff and security staff.
Ashton Market Hall traders also benefited, with footfall counters showing a 20% increase in shoppers over the three weekends.
One indoor market stall holder reported their busiest Saturday of trading for seven years and other traders commented that had seen many new faces and shoppers.
Visitors were also happy, with lots positive feedback on social media. One visitor said on Twitter: “Myself and my family loved the Christmas market, the children really enjoyed the different rides every weekend.”
Another commented: “My little boy had a great time! He loves his teddy from Santa and adored the donkey ride. Thank you.”
The final day of the Christmas market tied in with the last Ashton Farmers Market of the year, which was busier than ever with shoppers enjoying both events.
Executive Deputy Leader Cllr John Taylor, who is responsible for markets, said: “We achieved what we set out to do – providing a lovely, traditional event which was family focused while helping to promote local traders and boost business.
“The atmosphere at the Christmas market was brilliant – the amazing entertainment from the brass bands and performers was very well received and the largely dry and fine weather was also a bonus. A big thank you to everyone who came along to this and other town centre events in the run up to Christmas to support local traders.”
Ashton Town Team’s Scarefest event proved popular once again this year which included characters from No Eyed Theatre, Jack and Sally and a parade around the town centre. A classic car display was provided by the Tame Valley Vintage & Classic Car Club, local groups including All My Ghosts performed onstage and there was also a shop window competition won by Ava Beauty. Tameside Air Cadets joined the fun with scary make-up and The Scouts also themed themselves for the occasion. Local charities Willow Wood Hospice and Tameside 4 Good were also in attendance at this years event. Ladysmith Shopping Centre hosted some free crafts with two face painters and Arcades held a witches hat craft. This years event was supported by Tameside Markets, Tameside MBC, About Tameside, Sainsbury’s Ashton Moss and Tameside Rotary Club.
‘We SHINE BRIGHT together’ is an event that brings together 9 towns of Tameside to celebrate its people. Join us as we light up the streets of ASHTON with a spectacular lantern parade to guide us through the dark months ahead. Don’t miss the CHRISTMAS LIGHT SWITCH ON and an explosive PYROTECHNIC FINALE
A Spellbinding Halloween at Arcades
Friday 28th & Saturday 29th October
10am – 4pm
To celebrate Halloween, the Arcades Shopping Centre are hosting a two day spellbinding spectacular to entertain the families of Ashton-Under-Lyne during the half term holidays!
Celebrations will begin on Friday 28th October, with a visit from special guest – Professor Dumbledore! The popular character from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series will be wizarding across the mall meeting shoppers and posing for a truly unique photograph. Young shoppers can also join the FREE craft session & create their very own magical wands!
The event will continue on Saturday 29th October with a FREE witch and wizards hat making workshop, perfect for Halloween trick or treating.
In conjunction to the event, they will be giving away a family ticket to see the highly anticipated film ‘Fantastic Beasts and where to find them’ at Cineworld Ashton when it has its UK release on Friday 18th November. To enter the competition shoppers will need to visit Ashton Arcades’ Facebook page between Monday 24th October and Friday 11th November to solve the picture clues and guess the film title.
Ashton’s Annual Scarfest is a ‘Festival of Fun’
This year the annual Halloween event in Ashton-under-Lyne, Scarefest, on October 29th promises to be even more fun than ever. Building on the last couple of years the event, organised by Ashton Town Team, has added a walking parade in the town centre to its attractions which will take place from 1pm. This year Day Of The Dead is one of the adopted themes so watch out for sugar skull skeletons provided by No Eyed Theatre and the Skeleton character people may recognise from James Bond movie Spectre!
On Market Street there will be a wonderful display of cars from Tame Valley Vintage and Classic Car Club. Many shops will also have their windows decorated for a competition being judged by local MP Angela Rayner. There will be free face painting for children and a chance to make sugar skull masks with free crafts.
At the front of Ashton Market the stage will be hosting entertainment from Ross Noble, Tom Gibson, Clarendon College and Blush Dance School. The cast from Rock Of Ages, at Hyde Festival Theatre this November, will also be performing a couple of numbers. Another not to be missed appearance is by All My Ghosts a singer/songwriter duo made up from beautiful vocal stylings and guitar playing. Alongside the Market Hall will be the giant skeleton created for this year’s Manchester Day Parade which will be perfect for those Halloween selfie pics!
Ladysmith Shopping Centre have also joined in for Halloween with their own themed haunted house featuring free crafts, free treats, free face painting hosted by Skeleton Jack and Dandy Lion!
Scarefest is supported by About Tameside, Tameside Markets, Ladysmith Shopping Centre and organised by Ashton Town Team.
The Marvellous World of Roald Dahl
This summer to celebrate 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth, we will host two magical events inspired by Roald Dahl’s best know novels.
Towards the end of the summer holidays, children coming to Ashton Arcades Shopping Centre will encounter the mystical and magical world of Roald Dahl, as some of his most popular characters and stories will come to life with FREE interactive workshops.
Join us on Tuesday 23rd August to take part in our enchanted BFG craft workshop & make a colourful dreamcatcher!
Following this on Tuesday 30th August, tremendous things are in store for you and wonderful surprises await; as young shoppers can invent their own chocolate creations during the delightful Charlie and the Chocolate Factory workshop. Each event is completely free and will take place between 10am and 4pm.
We look forward to seeing you here!
Under the Sea At Ashton Arcades
Help us turn Ashton Arcades into the majestic deep blue sea as we celebrate the release of the highly anticipated Finding Dory animation, with a giant Under The Sea mural on the mall! We need your help to transform the mural from a colouring template into a brightly decorated ocean scene.
PLUS join us on Tuesday 2nd & Tuesday 9th August, where children can also take part in FREE Finding Dory underwater crafts.
Dont’t forget to pick up a colouring sheet to be in with a chance of winning a family ticket to see Finding Dory at Cineworld – Ashton-Under-Lyne.
We look forward to seeing you all here!
Meeks Step into New Premises
Since 1901 Meeks Shoes have provided quality footwear in Ashton-under-Lyne and been at the forefront of independent retail in the town centre. Located on Warrington Street since those early days the shop has recently relocated inside Ladysmith Shopping Centre alongside Boots. It was certainly emotional to leave the old location but the family’s commitment to Ashton was certainly never in doubt with the investment in the new showrooms. The experienced team are still on hand to assist you and of course offering the professional shoe fitting service for children, catering from babies to early teens! The store also continues to offer the durable quality brands that customers expect such as Clarks, Lelli Kelly, Geox, ECCO, Kickers, plus exclusive area stockists for Rieker and Hotter!
It’s Back to School time so you’ll find a large selection of sizes and designs in the shop plus don’t forget with their fitting service you’ll know they will be comfortable with room to grow. As autumn arrives so will the amazing range of ladies boots and when Christmas looms watch out for their great selection of slippers, a perfect present. The shop is open 9.30am until 5pm on Monday and Tuesday but then until 5.30pm Wednesday to Saturday! As Meeks Shoes puts its best foot forward in their new store at Ladysmith Shopping Centre why not step inside and see what’s on offer!
Calling Tameside! Throughout the month of June, there will be a number of local charities, services and community groups at Arcades Shopping Centre!
Arcades pride themselves as a vibrant, multicultural, community centre and want to help build awareness for organisations vital to Tameside.
Throughout June they will have the following organisations on the mall:
- St Peter’s Partnership/Leap & Greenscape – Thursday 2nd June
- Blaze Dance Group – Friday 3rd June
- Girl Guides – Saturday 4th June
- NHS Carers/WEllbeing Tameside – Monday 6th June
- Tameside Central Library – Tuesday 7th June & Monday 27th June
- Active Tameside – Wednesday 8th & Friday 10th June
- The Guide Dogs – Saturday 11th June
- Luna Friends – Sunday 12th June
- Tameside Council Recycling – Tuesday 14th June & Tuesday 28th June
- RSPCA – Wednesday 15th June
- Reubens Retreat – Thursday 16th June
- Be Well Tameside – Friday 17th June
- Weight Watchers – Saturday 18th June
- Blood Bikes – Sunday 19th June
- Tameside Central Library – Wednesday 22nd June
- Curzon Ashton Football Club – Saturday 25th June
- Slimming World – Sunday 26th June
- Royal British Legion – Thursday 30th June
Come along and say hello, donate to worthy causes, ask questions, learn some handy tips and facts and pick up some fantastic freebies! Let’s back our locals!
Search for a Hero
Ashton’s Ladysmith Shopping Centre is on the search for two local heroes in a new competition being launched on April 9th. Ladysmith’s Local Heroes is open to adults and children with a great cash prize of £250 in both children and adult categories. The competition is encouraging you to nominate maybe a friend or family member who has made a difference in the Tameside community. The competition to search for a hero can be anyone who may be a carer perhaps or a dedicated charity worker or even just a good neighbour or Samaritan. Maybe it’s somebody who has overcome obstacles and challenges to reach their goal or a person who constantly helps out when people are in need. If you know anyone like that why not fill in an entry form?
At the launch event you’ll be able to pick up your nomination form which you will need to return to the shopping centre before May 14th. The centre mascot, Dandy Lion, will also be coming out into Tameside to find local heroes for the competition. Watch out for him visiting your town, school or college over the next month. Winners will then be notified and a special presentation event will take place at Ladysmith Shopping Centre.
Lyn Williams, Promotions Manager, said “We know there are lots of unsung heroes out in Tameside raising money for charity or helping a friend or neighbour. This is an opportunity for people to say ‘Thank You’ and really show how much they are appreciated.” The Ladysmith Shopping Centre Manager, Neil Lindsay, added “At the Ladysmith Shopping Centre we do see many people who do volunteer or who have been a helping hand to those who can’t cope. We want to recognise this contribution which is so important in the local community and highlight these unsung heroes for once.”
Nomination forms can be collected from some of the Ladysmith Shopping Centre shops.
The first of the new kiosks is now open for business on Ashton outdoor market.
Wright’s Al Fresco Café, near to the Ladysmith entrance were the first kiosk to open their doors to the public and have reported good trading days. They officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The café has outdoor seating and is selling a much larger range of freshly ground coffees, cakes and ice creams as well as burgers, breakfasts and toasts. They have now opened a loyalty card scheme and even have coffee cups created in the new corporate green colour to match the stalls!
National Coach Tourism Awards 2016
GOOD coaching is not only the key to sporting success – it’s at the heart of Ashton Market’s popularity.
Only a year after being named Britain’s most coach-friendly shopping destination in the National Coach Tourism Awards organised by trade magazine Coach Monthly, Ashton has been shortlisted in two categories for 2016.
Coach-friendly and coach-friendly shopping destination of the year are open to venues able to demonstrate not only a commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups, and coach drivers, but which have developed and enhanced their welcome since last year.
Ashton is regularly visited by coach parties from North Wales, Merseyside, Derbyshire, north Lancashire and even Cumbria. Recently there has been an inquiry from a group in Sheffield wishing to come in the spring.
They arrive on a variety of vehicles ranging from mini-buses to 52-seater coaches. Some are organised by large companies, through brochures, while others might be social groups who have organised the trip themselves.
All coaches are greeted by a member of Tameside’s markets team who tells the passengers a little about the place and the town centre, mentioning shops and places to eat. All visitors are given a free goody bag.
Tameside Council’s deputy leader, Cllr John Taylor, who has responsibility for markets, said: “Ashton is a traditional northern market that offers a traditional northern welcome and I’m proud that fact is again being recognised.
“Ashton Market has won several awards in the last year or two and I see these as a tribute to the service and value we offer. I would like to thank traders and staff for their drive and commitment and, most importantly, all the shoppers and visitors for their support.”
In coach-friendly destination of the year, Ashton has been shortlisted with Beverley, Bournemouth, Burnham-on-Sea, Devizes, Liverpool, Londonderry and Perth City. In coach- friendly shopping destination the other finalists are Blackburn Market, Bury Market, Huntley’s Country Stores (Samlesbury), and Oswaldtwistle Mills.
The results will be announced on March 16 at the British Tourism and Travel Show in Birmingham.
If you are looking at bringing a coach party to Ashton-under-Lyne Market you will
be warmly welcomed and looked after. We offer free parking to all coach sizes from mini buses to 52 seaters. Drivers are provided with a free meal voucher and shoppers receive a free goody bag with coupons and vouchers in.
The multi-award winning Ashton-under-Lyne Market is one of the busiest and most popular in the North West region and this year has been voted The UK’s Coach Friendly Shopping Destination.
This delightful market town is a must for groups, coach parties and day trippers.
We have the ‘heart of the town’, the envy of many other North West towns – Ashton’s brilliant indoor and outdoor markets. This is where great choice, high quality and value for money still attracts thousands of shoppers everyday from all over the region.
This historic market holds a special place in the hearts of the public and traders alike. Not only is the market a well loved venue amongst shoppers and visitors but the market’s listed building it is an iconic landmark in the town centre.
The outdoor market is currently undergoing a £4.5million redevelopment which will make it one of the most modern in the country. It is open seven days a week, with a flea market on Tuesdays and a table top sale every Sunday except for the last Sunday in the month – when Ashton hosts the North West’s biggest and best ‘Farmers and Producers’ market with all items fresh and grown locally.
The indoor market – open six days a week – has an amazing range of quality goods including good old favourite sweets of yesteryear, bedding, gifts, clothing, food, and baby wear.
As the UK’s Greenest Market and twice the UK’s Favourite Market, Ashton is a friendly and welcoming destination for shoppers of all ages.
Tel: 0161 342 3268
Ashton-under-Lyne Market Student Discount Offer
EVERYBODY knows that Ashton Market is the place for a bargain. Traditionally it might be mum or dad looking for something for the family, but now there’s plenty to entice the many students who have come into the centre of Ashton to study at the new Clarendon College.
Traders at the market have just launched a great new Student Discount Scheme.
The deals are many and varied and expanding all the time. Six food outlets are offering discounts ranging from a 10 per cent reduction in prices to seasonal offers. Alternatively, Beauty Spot is cutting the cost of eyebrow threading by a quarter, or students can get 15 per cent off the cost of women’s underwear at Lady Duff Lingerie.
Tameside Council’s deputy leader, Cllr John Taylor, who has responsibility for markets, said: “The arrival of Clarendon College in the centre of Ashton means a large influx of young people. They are all potential customers and I am glad to see the market traders are making the most of the opportunity they offer.
“This will increase as Vision Tameside unfolds over the next few years and the borough’s educational provision is transformed. Traders can make the most of this and students can benefit from some great offers.”
All students need to do to take advantage of it is to look out for the A4 posters around the market hall and make sure they have their college ID card with them.
Sugar Smart campaign comes to Ashton
PARENTS are being encouraged to take control of their children’s sugar intake as part of a health roadshow coming to Ashton this month.
Research has revealed that children are consuming three times as much sugar as they should be.
The national Change 4 Life campaign, supported by Tameside Council, will be at the Arcades shopping centre, Ashton, on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 January to promote its new Sugar Smart app to help families see how much sugar there is every day food and drink.
The free app works by scanning the barcode of products and revealing the amount of total sugar it contains in cubes and grams.
Change4Life has also created an eye-opening short film to warn parents about the health harms of eating and drinking too much sugar, including becoming overweight and tooth decay.
At the roadshow in Ashton they will display sugar tower depicting the amount of sugar a typical five-year-old consumes in a year (22kg).
To find out more about the campaign and how to download the app and make sugar smart changes to your family’s diet see www.nhs.uk/change4life
Will Ashton Market be on for a terrific treble?
For the last two years Ashton has topped a poll organised by NABMA, the National Association of British Market Authorities in the Britain’s Favourite Market category.
And that success is simply down to the number of market visitors who have taken the time to visit the NABMA website and vote.
Voting’s easy: simply visit www.nabma.com and under the heading Great British Market Awards, go to the Britain’s Favourite Market tab on the left, or scroll down the page to the picture of Ashton Market and click on the vote button in the bottom right-hand corner.
If you prefer, follow @loveurlocalmkt on Twitter and post @Ashton-under-Lyne followed #GBMarketAwards.
Tameside Council’s deputy leader, Cllr John Taylor, who has responsibility for markets, said: “Ashton Market’s popularity is there for all to see and is improving year-on-year. It’s visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year – many of them making special journeys from across the country.
“We can win NABMA’s Britain’s Favourite Market title for the third time if all those shoppers who visit Ashton Market take time to vote. I’ll certainly be voting and I encourage everyone else to do so too.”
A NABMA spokesperson said: “We are looking for nominations for Great British Market Week 2016. Join with us and help promote and celebrate the excellent markets that can be found be found in our cities, towns and local communities. The categories are below.”