Abingdon Street Market reopens its doors to the public

As a previously frequent visitor to Abingdon Street market I was keen to see what had been done with the space. Although there had been a launch ‘do’ the previous evening, Saturday 27th May 2023 was the first day of public operation. Prior to the 12:00 doors open time, there were queues down the street from the two Edward Street doors.

Only the food hall section has been opened and the retail stall area was still blocked off with roller shutters. It was interesting trying to remember the old layout and transpose it on what’s there now. It consists of rows of tables and benches with food and drink outlets in a perimeter around them.

People took to the tables and started buying the food and drink as if they’d been going there all their lives, which has to be a good sign. There was much hubbub.

There is a small stage in the centre. Pasted to the glass next to the doors is a schedule of acts booked to perform on this stage, so we have a new music venue. Next to the acts poster is another notice declaring that this is a cashless venue. Might be a problem if you’re unbanked and perhaps a barrier to those without phones or not tech savvy.

I looked for a list of the outlets and their product, but couldn’t see this. It wasn’t immediately apparent to me what some of them were actually selling. The menus are accessed via mobile with visitors needing to scan a QR code and order via that.

I was pleased to see art pieces displayed and a noticeboard, already covered in stuff. This really needs to be a community hub for it to work – not many tourists are going to get this far, so it’s up to the locals to use the facility. Coach trips would be the exception as these often centre on market trips.

At present I feel that the new market lacks the tight intimacy of the old, but that market had many empty stalls and probably couldn’t go on the way it was. Of course, we only have the food hall at present and perhaps the whole thing needs to be open before the benefits start to come through. This market has been designed to meet 21st century needs.

Good luck for the market’s future and to all who have invested in it. There is a new town centre focus area to enjoy.


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    I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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