Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, March 2019: The Ashton Review of Shops

This month’s window on the shop windows

  • Tameside One opens;
  • New retail development for Hattersley;
  • Plus all the usual retail movements from Bardsley Brow to Haughton Green.

Tameside One opens

After two and a half years in the making, Tameside One will open its doors this month. Last week, all the customer facing functions of the former TAC building moved into their new quarters from Clarence Arcade. Last Friday [01 March], Ashton-under-Lyne Jobcentre Plus moved from its base on Old Street.

From the 04 March 2019 [Monday], a brand new era in customer facing service provision and co-location will begin. As stated last week, these will include the Cashbox Credit Union, the Citizen’s Advice bureau and Tameside Central Library. With Tameside MBC, Tameside College and Wilko (moving later this year), almost everything under one roof.

For visitors new to Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside MBC’s all singing all dancing Tameside One will be a boon. If you need to sign on, study a vocational course, borrow a book for the bus home, or wish to report a missing wheelie bin, go there. From what we have seen on TMBC’s Facebook page, the new Tameside Central Library is truly swish.

As for the old Ashton Central Library, this will become offices for Tameside MBC. The Local Studies Library, for the foreseeable future, will remain in its present location on Oldham Road.

A Lidl boost for Hattersley residents

Since 2015, plans have been made and passed for the expansion of Hattersley Retail Park. In the last fortnight, we have learned about the retail development’s new tenants and its anchor store. The anchor store will be Lidl, taking a 19,310 square feet unit. A 15,000 square feet unit will be taken by Home Bargains.

So far, two tenants have been announced for some of the retail park’s smaller units. One of them is Card Factory, whereas the other occupant will be Greggs. The last time Greggs had a presence in Hattersley was back in 1999 with a unit in the Kingston Arcade neighbourhood centre off Hattersley Road East. An 1,800 square feet drive thru unit will be leased by Costa Coffee. At this time of writing, three units are awaiting tenants.

The upgraded Hattersley Retail Park will be ready for 2020. Despite boosting the overspill estate’s retail offering, it may be awkward to get to on public transport. Being on Stockport Road, the shops will still be a fair distance from Hattersley railway station and, to some extent on foot, any bus stops on the 201 service. Walking from Honiton Grove to Stockport Road may be a non-starter for some residents.

Denton’s Last Camera Shop Closes

At the start of last month, Denton’s last camera shop closed its doors. Denton Photo Optics, once situated on Manchester Road offered a wide variety of 35mm and 120 medium format cameras. As well as film and accessories, it offered digital cameras in later years.

The shop, owned by David Norton, also had a mail order service and advertised each week in Amateur Photographer magazine. Prior to last month, the shop only opened on Thursdays. With David retiring from the business, we wish him the very best. We loved your shop, which had been a part of Denton since 1961.

TAC Tales: Update on the Joint Service Centre

As a consequence of Tameside One’s opening, this feature of The Ashton Review of Shops is now redundant. Nevertheless, The Ashton Review of Shops will also focus on other Vision Tameside projects.

So far, as illustrated in our latest picture, work is well under way on Tameside (Ashton-under-Lyne) Transport Interchange. We shall be charting the progress of its construction along with other projects in Ashton-under-Lyne and beyond.

Forthcoming Planning Applications

Polite Note: for reasons of brevity, any pub and club applications come under the Pub and Club Update section. You know it makes sense…

A quiet one over the last month.

  • Over the last month, Cineworld has put in plans for the addition of two enclosed external staircases.
  • Wren Kitchens on Snipe Retail Park have submitted plans for the addition of LED signage.
  • Plans have been submitted for a new entrance opening on Station Buildings, 278 Manchester Road, Audenshaw.
  • The former Ladbrokes unit on 85 Old Street, Ashton-under-Lyne could become an extension of Cordwell’s adult gaming centre. Before selling to Ladbrokes, the unit was renovated for Cordwell’s after its previous use as the Just Wot U Need discount store.

Retail Movements

With terrible sales figures for Christmas across the UK, the last three months haven’t been too kind to Tameside.

  • Shortly after last month’s Ashton Review of Shops went to press, Foot Locker closed its doors in the Arcades Shopping Centre, after nearly ten years in the precinct. Till the start of February 2019, the company was Ashton’s last link with the original F.W. Woolworth Company.
  • Also leaving the Arcades Shopping Centre is Value Clothing. Could this be the last we shall see of them, or will they come back near Christmas on a short lease? We shall see.
  • On Stamford Street Central, Belvoir Property Services have left their unit on the corner of Booth Street. Their unit took up the ground floor of the former Oddfellows Hall.
  • In the last month, EE have closed their Warrington Street shop with business transferring to its other unit in the Arcades Shopping Centre.
  • On Market Avenue, the former RSPCA shop next to Ace of Cards is being converted into a dessert parlour.
  • If you like fried chicken and the like, the former Cosy Corner café on Stamford Road, Top Mossley, is in the midst of turning into a fried chicken shop.
  • Speaking of chicken – albeit of a comparatively overpriced variety – Nando’s could be coming to Crown Point North, Denton. Its likely unit will be the former Poundworld one.
  • Weeks after Magpie’s Nest vacated their Ashton shop, a new tenant was found. Moving over from the Ladysmith Shopping Centre is Travel Guru. This by the way is the new name for NS Travel.

Pub and club update

The biggest story in the Tameside pub scene was the new-look Ash Tree which we covered in an Ashton Review of Shops Extra article. Having called in last week, we found that the pub’s strongest points lie in its outdoor seating area. We especially like the covered decking which makes al fresco dining possible during rainy days.

The reupholstered seats are comfortable and the family area (which we affectionately call The Ball Pond due to its sunken aspect) isn’t as stuffy as it was before the works. Tea and coffee dispensers have now been moved to the Wellington Road end of the pub which makes for easier circulation between its two entrances. This is great if you have ordered a take-out coffee and wish to finish it off on the 236 to Glossop.

After a brief closure between managerial changes, The Clarence on Talbot Road, Newton will be reopening today [02 March]. The new management aims to boost its food offerings with the kitchen opening a week or so later. The pub has been refurbished inside and outside with a newly renovated flat above and a new roof. If you fancy nipping across to The Clarence, it is a 346 bus ride away from Ashton-under-Lyne, Dukinfield and Hyde.

Could there be a rival to The Silly Country in Droylsden? Plans have been submitted for a new micropub on 1 Queens Walk. The new hostelry (known as New Pub on the planning documents) may have a pizza oven. Its proposed unit was formerly leased by Lloyds Bank and, if passed, could be another good excuse for taking a tram to Droylsden.

Still in Droylsden, the Pig on the Wall could given some new non-illuminated and illuminated signage.

…And Finally…

Though the last month hasn’t been a cheery one in relation to bricks and mortar retail in the Tameside area, we think you might like this diversion.

If you went to see Bohemian Rhapsody at Cineworld (other cinemas are available), you may have been happy to hear of Rami Malek’s success in the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. Inspired by Queen’s best known song, and the recent film, is an Ashton vehicle graphics business.

How could you not like a vinyl vehicle graphics business with a name like Bohemian Wrappers-ody?

Before you could say “I see a little silhouette-o of a van”, their portfolio has an impressive number of clients, from individuals to multinational companies. They are just off Cavendish Street and their website is worth a peek. If you call in, tell them that Stuart, the creative genius of East of the M60’s Ashton Review of Shops sent you.

*                     *                    *

Next Month:

Our next Ashton Review of Shops will be out on the 06 April 2019 at the usual time of 9am. Next month’s could be interesting being the first post-Brexit Ashton Review of Shops. Yep, same bat time, same bat channel and all that yada yada…!

S.V., 02 March 2019.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Andy says:

    Given the white elephant the Tesco store in Hattersley is*, is it really wise to have another large supermarket there? It’s not easily accessible by public transport and not on a major route for cars either. Wih the exception of the Cost drive-thru and maybe Greggs, I do not see the other tenants being successful there.

    * Hattersley was earmarked for closure a number of times, until it was worked out it would cost more money to close the store than keep it open for another few years. The hope was to convert it to a ‘dark store’ to serve the internet shoppers of the Greater Manchester area. Tesco’s web strategy has since stalled.


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