By Jonathan Brown
Hyde’s first ever all singing, all dancing Asian market attracted over 3,000 shoppers last Thursday.
The newly themed market had a massive 77 stalls open for trading as opposed to Hyde outdoor market’s usual Thursday subscription of around 13 traders.
To attract new traders, Tameside Council’s economic development unit has heavily subsidised the stalls and they now cost from just £12 a day.
The event, which featured everything from Indian dancing to Asian cooking demonstrations was a huge success, breathing new life into the town’s market grounds.
Councillor David Sweeton opened the new market. He said: “This vibrant new market is a great opportunity for everyone in Tameside to celebrate the wide array of culinary and cultural traditions right on our own doorstep.”
The event was aimed as much to provide local people with a cultural market as it was to help nearby small businesses to increase their profits as a result of the market’s increased trade.
Council marketing officer, Dean Thurlow, said: “It’s all about giving people value for money and bringing the community together through the mixed background of traders.
“Virtually every ethnic group is represented here every week or two.”
Mr Thurlow explained that the council is keen to give the large Asian and Bangladeshi community a local market, as people were leaving the area to go to competing sites in Longsight and Oldham.
A wide variety of new and old traders set up shop at the market selling spices, saris, jewellery and a lot more, to mark an exciting new era for Hyde’s Thursday markets.
Kalsoom Ali, a regular trader at Ashton’s award winning farmer’s market, wowed the crowds with her Asian cookery demonstrations.
She said: “This really has brought the community together; I’ve never seen so many local Asian people out in force.
“We’ve had interest from loads of locals, both Asian and English, and it has done wonders for the outdoor market already.”
Mrs Ali, who often trades her homemade samosas, paratas and chapatis on Hyde’s neighbouring indoor market, added that she’s now considering joining in with more Asian markets.
Council officials are already looking as far forward as next year, hoping to make the Asian market a lasting fixture in Hyde’s famous market program following its early success.
The market brought in new customers from all over Greater Manchester like Sushila Kotecha, 62, from Newton Heath. She said: “It’s a great idea for people locally and it should be even busier in summertime.
“This is the first time I’ve been to Hyde. I came down just for the new market and hopefully it will bring more people to the area.”
Hyde’s town centre has been the scene of a flourishing market since 1848 and this latest incarnation is hoped to bring a new audience to the historic site.
Located just off the M67, the market grounds are open 8.30am to 4.30pm, Wednesday to Saturday and sit directly across from Hyde town hall.
Anyone wishing to get involved with the market by way of renting a stall should contact the council’s market office on 0161 342 3338.