The new market scooped the top prize as part of Cheshire Life’s ‘Keep Life Local Awards’, which launched earlier this year to honour excellent Cheshire businesses and recognise their achievements in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic and lockdowns.
Beating off competition from Altrincham Market, Warrington Market was praised for ‘overcoming the odds’ by launching successfully and safely in July.
The council worked closely with traders to ensure the new building could open safely, with a range of ‘COVID-secure’ measures put in place, including signage, social distancing, and restricting visitor numbers.
Cheshire Life highlighted how the new, multi million pound facility has ‘refreshed and revamped’ Warrington’s market offer, replacing an outdated market with a modern, vibrant experience that customers have described as ‘just like Manchester’.
Market Manager, Andy Ward, said: “It’s so great to be recognised with this award as we head into the end of this difficult year. As you can imagine, it has been extremely challenging for everyone opening a new building in the midst of a global pandemic.
“My thanks must go out to everybody who has supported us throughout this endeavour including our staff, traders and of course our loyal customers.”
The market, in the heart of the new Time Square development, is home to more than 50 independent traders, selling everything from meat, fish, cheese and pies to jewellery, fabric, handbags, clothes to comics, musical instruments and shoe repairs.
Despite the huge challenges of Covid-19, the market has continued to welcome more than 25,000 visitors a week, not least due to the popularity of ‘Cookhouse at Warrington Market’, with 12 traders serving a variety of hot and cold cuisines from around the world.
Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “The opening of the new Warrington Market has been a real success story, bringing a new vibrancy to our town centre. We have waited for a long time to have a first class market in the heart of Warrington, and to open the building and welcome so many visitors, safely, in such difficult circumstances, has been a fantastic achievement.
“Market staff and traders have worked together to ensure the new building is a welcoming, COVID-secure environment for everyone. I’m delighted that their efforts have paid off.
“This award is a fantastic way to end 2020 for the market, and to celebrate its success, despite what has been a hugely challenging year for us all.”
Find out more about Warrington Market at warrington.gov.uk/market or follow @warringtonmkt on social media.