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.”
Featured Image – Levenshulme Market