Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, September 2016: The Ashton Review of Shops

September’s window on the shop windows

Hattersley And Mottram
A superb view of Hattersley and Mottram by Smabs Sputzer, 2012. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).
  • Williams and Glyn relaunch stalled;
  • Millpond demolished for New Charter Housing Trust mixed-use development;
  • New Inn up for auction;
  • Plus the usual retail changes in the Tameside area.

Not a lot has happened this August, apart from the demolition of the Millpond.

Williams and Glyn revival scuppered

In spite of the fact that uniforms and stationery had been ordered, the Royal Bank of Scotland has postponed their rebranding exercise for its Northern English branches. Earlier this year, plans had been made for the revival of the Williams and Glyn brand. Instead, the 300 branches affected by the change could become a target for Santander.

The bank wrote off £345m in separation issues and recorded a loss of £2 billion. This move affects RBS branches in Denton, Hyde, Droylsden, and Ashton-under-Lyne. Could we be seeing RBS branches transferring to incumbent Santander banks in Ashton and Hyde?

Millpond demolition under way

The Millpond public house – originally part of Stalybridge’s Cooperative’s store – is in the midst of demolition. Its wrought iron balcony has made the short trip to Acres Lane. It is assumed that the balcony will be used by The New Labour Club. Possibly as part of a smokers’ seating area.

As stated last month, the development will have six new shop units and space for bicycles. At its tallest point, there will be seven storeys.

Ashton Market update

Most of the open stalls have been erected. A covered stall and seated area nearest to McDonalds is awaiting construction. The last of the 1993-built wooden stalls have been demolished with the floor cleared for resurfacing. Part of the cleared ground will include landscaping nearest to the Arcades Shopping Centre. An open area will be retained for temporary market stalls and public events.

Tameside leisure and retail changes

Iceland on Bow Street, Ashton-under-Lyne has been refurbished internally and externally. Externally, its canopy has been renovated and smartened up. Internally, the store’s fruit and vegetable counters have been moved to the front. This was formerly used for special offers, the sale of freezers, and (when Tesco took on the unit in 1974 for its Home and Wear store) as the entrance and exit.

Also in Ashton, Warren James has moved from the Ladysmith Shopping Centre to a slightly bigger unit in the Arcades Shopping Centre. A little out of town on Snipe Retail Park, we can confirm that B&M Homestore will be the occupants of the former Staples and Pets at Home unit. Like Hyde, Ashton will have two branches of B&M Bargains.

In Stalybridge, a new mobile phone and accessories shop has opened on Melbourne Street. Known as Mobile Phones & Accessories, it is opposite 5 A Day. Also of late, Ladbrokes have closed their betting shop at the top end of Melbourne Street.

The former Palace and Metro cinemas in Stalybridge and Ashton-under-Lyne have been brought back onto the market. Stalybridge’s former cinema, latterly Rififi, was previously for sale with a guide price of £650,000 by Savills. The Metro was valued for a similar amount. Both properties are being sold through Sovereign Business Transfer in Cheadle and have been promoted as a “redevelopment opportunity”.

The Rififi/Amber Lounge (or Palace if you prefer) is on the market for £625,000. With change from six hundred grand, the former Metro cinema is yours for £550,000. Potential for commercial, residential, or office space have been suggested for both properties.

Forthcoming Planning Applications

Only one of a retail and leisure nature we know of this month.

Polite Note: for reasons of brevity, any pub and club applications come under the Pub and Club Update section. You know the drill (and I shall be buying a new one in the Black Friday sales at the end of November)…

  • The Theatre Royal on Corporation Street, Hyde is set to see a slight change of use though thankfully. At present, it is licensed as a Class D2 building (Assembly and Leisure). Future plans will also see the addition of a Class D1 licence (Non-Residential Institution). This implies a possible further use for lectures and exhibitions as well as public performance.

Pub and club update

On the 13 September 2016 at the AJ Bell Stadium in Barton (Sale Sharks and Salford City Reds’ home), The New Inn, Dukinfield, will be up for auction. As Lot 010 in the auction catalogue, it is valued as being between £90,000 and £110,000. It is subject to a restrictive covenant for alcohol sales. In the catalogue, it is quoted as “a prominent corner plot with development potential”.

This could mean the continuation of The New Inn as licensed premises. Possibly as a restaurant or as an off-licence. On the other hand, “development potential” could mean a change of use to flats, as seen with The Newmarket and The Gardeners’ Arms. If as a commercial unit, it could form part as a retail-led scheme next to Lot 089. Lot 089 is a patch of spare land next to the former pub valued at £25,000 upwards. Suggested uses include commercial and residential purposes.

The long-closed Ring O’Bells public house, due for conversion into an off-sales outlet, is the subject of a licence alteration. There are plans for weekday licensing hours between 7am and 8pm.

The Alexander Club, set to move from its palatial Oldham Road building has found a new home. Its new base will be at the back of Family Shopper store, formerly part of the Irish National Institute.

In an era where pubs have closed and faced depubification at worst, The Ashton Moss Harvester pub is in fine fettle. The out-of-town food-based pub will see the addition of new signage and exterior repainting work. With mint green walls.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

Will the open market be ready for Christmas? All will be revealed in a future edition of The Ashton Review of Shops.

S.V., 03 September 2016.

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