Since fully opening on November 8, the new market has seen a huge influx of visitors during its first four weeks and a more than trebling of the peak pre-pandemic footfall in the old market, which closed in October.
The new ‘modern traditional’ market is open every day except Monday and offers visitors the opportunity to shop local and eat global from a wide range of food, produce and goods traders, all independent local businesses across 39 stalls, half of which were taken by traders from the old market.
A favourite from the old market, Planet Anime, will be opening their new Pokémon and comic collectables stall in the coming weeks, whilst a new wool and yarn retailer RKM Wools is expected to be open before the end of the year.
Further produce traders are being sought to complement the butcher and fishmonger both of whom have been very busy since the new market opened. The current mix of traders is roughly 60 percent goods or produce and 40 percent food and beverage stalls.
The market is open every day except Mondays, until 10pm, and 9pm on Sundays with over 400 seats across 4 distinct areas, from large communal benches to a garden area, heritage corner and more intimate stalls seating in the mini market area.
The 300,000th visitor was Gemma Edwards from Ellesmere Port, who was returning to the market for the second time to show her mum around. Gemma received a £50 voucher to spend in the market and a goodie bag.
Retaining one of the much-loved aspects of the old market, local musicians perform at weekends in the evenings. In the run-up to Christmas the popular artisan Makers Markets has been held in Exchange Square every weekend until December 18, and a giant Christmas bauble light feature has been installed.
Councillor Richard Beacham, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Growth, Economy and Regeneration, said: “We are delighted to see the new market thriving and proving such a big hit with visitors, it has been an incredible journey to transform the market and provide such a popular city centre attraction for our traders, residents and visitors alike.
“The market’s popularity means we are having to manage numbers into the building, particularly at weekends, this is to ensure sufficient capacity and seating is available and our traders can cope with demand, please bear with us if your entry is briefly delayed.”