Levenshulme Market is set to stick around in the Manchester suburb for another four years.
The ever-popular market attraction – which has attracted thousands of visitors and hundreds more traders since launching in 2013 – has secured its immediate future after what has been described as a “challenging” year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The news of the Levenshulme Market’s future comes after it was recently crowned the winner of ‘Best Small Market’ at the Great British Market Awards 2020.
As it is only a temporary operation, Levenshulme Market is required to reapply for permission from Manchester City Council to use the car park on Stockport Road every few years.
Applications are submitted by volunteers who run the market as a Community Interest Company – and there have been numerous obstacles in recent weeks.
A bid to add a monthly Sunday market (to accompany monthly Friday and weekly Saturday openings) encountered opposition, with almost 300 people signing petitions against the proposals. Concerns had been raised about the potential impact on neighbouring businesses and car parking availability near Levenshulme Station and the wider district centre.
Some objectors even suggested that the site of the market needed to be relocated.
However, the final application for a further four-year tenure has now been passed – backed by 280 individual emails of support.
At Manchester City Council’s planning meeting last Thursday, one of the CIC’s directors Paul Bower stressed the benefits of the market to Manchester.
“We feel that we continue to provide a vital and vibrant space for traders young and old to sell their quality goods and support the growth of the local economy in south Manchester,” Mr Bower said.
“We feel that small markets like our own will play a very important role in building back better when we emerge into the post-COVID economy.”
The planning meeting heard that even though the market was only operating at half capacity due to COVID-safety guidelines, it still provided more than 200 traders with stalls, 80% of whom were from Greater Manchester and over half were women.
The committee gave its unanimous support for the CIC’s application – which also had the backing of planning officers.
Permission has been granted for the market to trade through to its 10th birthday.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Bower said: “We’re very pleased and relieved to have secured our immediate future of our community market in Levenshulme following a challenging 18 months [and] we would very much like to thank everyone who took the time to write in with their support.
“It is greatly appreciated and we look forward to sharing the market’s next four years with everyone.”
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.
Demands for an immediate general election set to be debated in parliament
A petition demanding an ‘immediate general election’ has now surpassed 100,000 signatures – and is set to be debated in Parliament.
The petition says that the public should be able to ‘decide who should lead us through the unprecedented crises threatening the UK’.
Prime Minsiter Liz Truss and the Conservative party are facing waves of criticism as the cost of living crisis spirals.
Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget on Friday saw the pound plummet to a record low against the dollar, and 40% of mortgage deals have since been pulled from the market, plunging the property market into chaos too.
Liz Truss was elected as Prime Minister by Conservative MPs only weeks ago, beating Rishi Sunak to the top job on 6 September 2022, but no general election has been held since Boris Johnson was elected in 2019.
Petition organiser Darrin Charlesworth said: “The chaos engulfing the UK government is unprecedented.
“War rages in Ukraine; the Northern Ireland Protocol has further damaged our relationship with Europe; recession looms; the UK itself may cease to exist as Scotland seeks independence.
“This is the greatest set of challenges we have seen in our lifetimes.