New market: Council ends Quarterbridge involvement for 'not meeting expectations'

Date published: 26 September 2018

Quarterbridge will not be running the new Rochdale Riverbank market after the Council decided the market specialist was not meeting its expectations.

The services specialist was chosen as the market operator in February 2017 after a tendering process - a decision that was met with angry by existing market traders, who had also tendered.

A council spokesman said: “We have today (26 September) informed the proposed new market operators that their services are no longer required.

"The council has big ambitions for Rochdale town centre and we expect all of our partners to share our passion for creating one of the region’s best shopping and leisure destinations.

“Although we have given the operators numerous opportunities since the tender process in 2016 to prove they are the right people to run our cherished market, and given significant additional help and support where we have been able to, we feel they have been unable to meet our expectations.

"We have spoken to the existing traders to let them know we are pressing ahead with our plans and reassured them that steps are now being taken to move the project forward.

"Until a new operator is found the council will take over management of the facility and press ahead with discussions with the traders we know are keen to move into Rochdale market.”   

Quarterbridge and Market Asset Management (Rochdale) Ltd refused to comment.

After close to four decades in the Exchange Shopping Centre, Rochdale Market was forced to move to the former 'Black Box' site in January 2015 – itself a temporary measure – where traders operated for two and a half years without basic facilities. Work on opening the river at the time prevented the move of the market to the preferred location of The Butts.

The new Riverbank market opened for business on Saturday 23 August.

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