A resurgent South Shore market seen as a vital part of the community is all set to relaunch this week with a fun day.
The New Market will have its official opening tomorrow with Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden cutting the ribbon just over a year since it suddenly closed when its then owners pulled the plug.
It is part of a fun day of events planned on Waterloo Road from noon to 3pm, with a brass band in attendance, free donkey rides for the children, a £50 shopping voucher to win and plenty of other fun stuff planned throughout the afternoon.
Local business owners David Clewes and Susie Gallagher got the building back up and running in April, after it was shut for more than a year, and only in the last week received confirmation from Blackpool Council that they would be receiving a grant of up to £75,000 for some quality repairs on the roofing.
David said: “As someone who has traded in the market for 26 years, it was very good to me personally but also the wider area. It was a massive blow to the stallholders and local shoppers when it was forced to close.
“It’s been great to have the support from our MP Gordon Marsden, local ward councillors and council officers, who recognised this and with their support and influence, helped to get it reopened.”
“I am delighted that Gordon will be reopening the New Market and it will be a great afternoon – the traders and wider community in South Shore and incredibly grateful for the work they and others have done us behind the scenes to get the building back up and running again.”
In a joint statement Mr Marsden and Coun David O’Hara, who represents Waterloo ward, said: “The New Market is a proud part of the local community and it was really important that we found a solution to get it up back and running again.
“It was a long process but we wish Dave and Susie, along with all the other local traders in the market, and across South Shore every success. A successful and vibrant market will have a positive impact on other shops and businesses located along Waterloo Road and Bond Street.”
Susanne Johnson, chairman of the Blackpool Federation of Small Businesses branch, added: “I have been pushing with others for the revival of the South Shore area and the New Market is a very important part of this – it’s a community hub, where people can meet, do their shopping and I know it will thrive under Dave, Susie and the other traders, making the whole area even better.”
She explained that it was a part of series of events, which includes to turn the South Shore shopping area into an alternative to the town centre.
Before the New Market closed last year, Ian Crocker of Crocker’s DIY, was running his DIY stall in the building for nine years and when he knew it was reopening, he said he “couldn’t wait” to get back in.
He said: “We had a lot of regular customers, it was like a little community in here and they were glad to see us back.
Jaz Chauhan’s husband set up the key cutting stall she now runs and it is in its 35th year of trading. Like other traders she has built up a good reputation with local people.
She was delighted to move back, describing the staff at the New Market as like “one big family”, who when it was forced to close, all kept in touch with one another.
Bookseller Barry Thompson, who came to the market in 2004 said it was “very bad” for him when it closed last year and were only given a week’s notice to relocate.
He briefly traded from the Abingdon Market but said it wasn’t “the same” as he could only sell paintings and not books.
Now he’s back on Waterloo Road, he explained that he’s starting to see his former customers come back to the New Market.