People enjoying food in community owned businesses in Radcliffe Market

Radcliffe Market

It’s a familiar story. Not long ago, Radcliffe’s heart and spirit were its’ Market Hall; the place where everyone would meet.

It offered everything anyone could need or want as part of their daily life. But, as shopping patterns and lifestyles evolved, and the Council’s investment changed, the Market Hall suffered.

The decline of the heart of the community

Competition brought a decline in footfall and purchasing power. Traders with markets in their blood, forced to close. The Hall’s cycle of decline hastened. In poor repair, it fell foul to flooding and leaking roofs. A general gloom of resignation set in. The town would have to accept losing a vital part of its proud heritage, a heritage since 1851.

Then the story that’s familiar to so many towns changes. A committed group of residents came together with the remaining Market stallholders. They petitioned the Council and showed they were better placed to run the Hall. Drawing on their own expertise, they drafted an outline plan to save the Market Hall from further decay and make it new heart of the town.

Getting the heart back

To truly place local people at the heart of everything it would be doing, the group chose to form as a co-operative. This ensured that people had a true voice in it, and that it would remain accountable to them as a community into the future.

Impressed by their enthusiasm, the Council awarded the group a licence in 2018 to manage the Market Hall. This initial ‘win’ caught the interest of the Bright Ideas Programme. The group won invaluable development support, and funding from the programme.

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