Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, February 2015: The Ashton Review of Shops

Shopping in a winter wonderland

  • Replacement tenant found for Burton unit;
  • Dukinfield pub reopens as café;
  • 2015 developments in Ashton-under-Lyne.

In the last month, snow and post-Christmas thrift was grist of the mill for Tameside’s shoppers. Though Ashton’s and Denton’s branches of Bank are likely to close this year, we can sure of at least two developments. Both of which in Ashton-under-Lyne.

New tenant for Burton unit

The Burton and Dorothy Perkins unit on Staveleigh Way, we are happy to report, wont be empty for long. Coming soon to Ladysmith Shopping Centre is Select, a retailer which has come on since the early 1980s. Their market is cost-conscious female customers, who yearn for style on a budget. A bit like Primark a la Primarni sense.

The chain has 154 shops in the United Kingdom with ten in Greater Manchester. It has weathered the global financial downturn in 2008, when Turkish investor Cafer Mahiroglu purchased the chain. Ashton-under-Lyne’s branch will be Tameside’s third; the borough’s present two are situated in Droylsden and Denton.

Ashton shops

  • Savouries on Warrington Street has reopened, with news of their fire and reopening recorded in the Manchester Evening News and the Tameside Advertiser.
  • Age UK‘s national arm has opened a new shop in Warrington Street, hitherto the town’s General Post Office till 2006. The unit is split into two with clothing in one part, and another part for the promotion and sale of Age UK’s insurance policies.
  • Browton’s is continuing to whet the appetites of Tameside’s craft beer drinkers and hopes to introduce cask conditioned ales.

Demolition of the TAC building

A date has been confirmed for the demolition of Tameside MBC’s TAC Building. September 2015 will see the ‘dustbin’ consigned to history with a cheaper and more energy efficient building in its place. Affected by this is Ashton’s Wilkinson store, where temporary premises have been sought.

Wilko’s temporary unit will be on the first floor of the Arcades Shopping Centre. Formerly part of the Woolworths store, it has been empty since its closure in January 2009. Since September 1992, the Ashton branch of Wilko have occupied the ground floor unit of the TAC building. It was originally let to International Stores though never traded as an International, opening as Presto. By 1990, it became a Safeway. From 1981 to 1995 (including its first three years as a Wilkinson store), it had an in-store café facing the open market.

Markets

Remaining with the open market, work is set to start soon on its redevelopment. Stalls will be shifted a little closer to the indoor market entrance, nearer to Bow Street. The roundabouts will be moved nearer to the Arcades Shopping Centre, next to a play area. Its future layout will see a clear passage from Wellington Road to the Ladysmith Shopping Centre.

The changes to Britain’s Favourite Market (confirmed last week, for the second year running), aim to enhance its appeal. An area beside the town hall steps will be made available for pop-up stalls and live events.

If passed, Ashton’s indoor and outdoor market could be the only game in town. A recently expired consultation on the future of Tameside’s markets could see the loss of markets within a 6.25 mile radius of Ashton-under-Lyne. This would affect weekly markets having more than five stalls. Not only would this affect the Handmade Market and Farmers’ Market in Stalybridge, but also third parties wishing to organise markets anywhere within that radius.

Falling under the radius – outside the borough – are Tommyfield [Oldham], Royton, Shaw, and Manchester Arndale markets. The 6.25 mile radius was sanctioned by an earlier market charter which allows a once-weekly (Mondays only) market in the centre of Ashton. This has kicked up a stink with the people of Stalybridge, where the town was granted Royal Assent for hosting open and indoor markets six days a week.

Planning Notices

A rather quiet month, apart from plans for a single storey restaurant and takeaway between The Village Hotel and The Ashton Moss public house. Could this be Ashton’s second branch of McDonalds, or another fast food establishment?

Pub and club update

The last month hasn’t been a good one for licensed premises. In our last bulletin we knew of The Apethorn’s closure. Joining them is The Highland Laddie and The Old General, two historic pubs likely to face depubification.

The prohibitive cost of the roof, and the Pubco’s inability to invest, has seen the closure of The Old General in Dukinfield. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, it was one of the best pubs in the town, and the place to go to for a Sunday dinner. Its position near the western gate of Dukinfield Crematorium had in the long run, made it a popular spot for funeral wakes.

Recent managers and tenants had had failed to arrest its decline. But a six-figure bill for the replacement of its roof was its final straw. The Pubco on the other hand, may have seen greater potential for depubification. Expect to see flats on the site, which include its commodious car park before long.

The same is also true of The Highland Laddie in Mossley. Again, another conversion into flats is planned. It was convenient for devotees of the Lilywhites and travelling fans, owing to its position near Seel Park.

Hanging in the balance is The Oddfellows’ Arms in Higher Hurst. Another Robinson’s pub, it has in recent times been popular for foodies and real ale types, and a regular entry in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. For most of its time, it was ran by the same family.

Furthermore, it is claimed to be the birthplace of the National Union of Mineworkers, with the pub being close to the Heys Colliery at one time. This month sees the pub up for auction, with Pugh Auctioneers conducting the sale at the Etihad Stadium, on the 26 February. It is valued between £90,000 to £100,000.

On another note, The Globe Hotel has reopened as a café. The building has lain empty since 2011.

Other comings and goings (some of which probably not so recent – corrections and additions appreciated as always):

Comings:

  • Select: Ladysmith Shopping Centre, Staveleigh Way, Ashton-under-Lyne: new shop;
  • Savouries: Warrington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne: welcome return after refurbishment;
  • The Globe Hotel: Globe Square, Dukinfield: reopening as café.

Doubtful:

  • The Oddfellows’ Arms: Kings Road, Higher Hurst, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Goings:

  • Burton: Ladysmith Shopping Centre, Staveleigh Way, Ashton-under-Lyne;
  • The Highland Laddie: Market Street, Mossley: possible conversion to flats;
  • The Old General: Crescent Road, Dukinfield: possible conversion to flats/depubification.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

More tomfoolery from the Ashton Review of Shops. Will our intrepid reporter be trying a breakfast at The Globe Hotel (though yours truly prefers a pint rather than a cup of coffee)? We shall see.

Till now, after finding a suitable meat-free option, it is goodbye from me… (and it is goodbye from him).

S.V., 06 February 2015.

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