THE Warrington Market team are appealing for new traders to get in touch as the £142.5million Time Square development begins to take shape.

Work is currently taking place to transform the former Boots unit into a modern market hall with a food court and bar.

The new £11million Warrington Market is set to open in Bridge Street after a fortnight fit-out towards the end of February and there is still time for traders of all types to get in touch.

“We’re at nearly 100 applications for 65 units,” said operations manager Paul Blaney.

“We’ve had a lot of interest but we’d like people to know that opportunities are still available. It’s not a done deal yet.

READ MORE > The Botanist reveals Warrington Time Square launch date

“We will continue to recruit over the coming weeks and months until we find what we feel is the right mix and credible for that new market.”

The new and permanent market hall will take its cue from the likes of Altrincham Market and Manchester’s Mackie Mayor where you can enjoy a range of artisan dishes and a drink in a modern communal dining area and social space.

At the Warrington site, there will be 12 hot food stalls plus a bar. Shutters will also separate the food court from the rest of the market so that it can stay open into the evening.

The plan is for it to stay open until 10pm from Thursday to Saturday and there is outdoor seating for the warmer months.

Andy Ward, project manager for Warrington Market, said: “We could probably fill the food court twice over. That’s where the interest has been – in supplying hot food and takeaways.

Warrington Guardian:

An artist's impression of the food court

“We’ve had a massive raft of applications from traders who specialise in different nationalities of food from Vietnamese, to Spanish, to Italian, to Chinese, to Mexican.”

Paul, a former Padgate High School student, added: “It will be for everyone from people who want to grab a bite to eat to takeaway to people who want to sit in and have a meal, perhaps before or after a film.

“There will also be the opportunity for people working nearby to drop in for an after work social.”

The new market hall is part of a bigger development with a Cineworld cinema opening on December 11 and range of high street restaurants set to launch – the first of which is The Botanist on December 2.

Paul said: “I think we’re offering an incredible opportunity. We’re part of this £142.5million development and the new market will be in a state-of-the-art facility.

“We’re partnering with the cinema, some bigger high street brands and next to us in new council offices is potentially 1,000 customers every day so I’d like to think the whole Time Square package is appealing for businesses to come to Warrington.”

READ MORE > Opening date revealed for Cineworld Warrington Time Square

The other part of the hall is earmarked for retail, leisure and grocery stalls and services.

So the traditional aspect of the market will very much remain but Paul and Andy said they recognise the importance of a modern food court for driving footfall and appealing to new audiences as part of a growing trend.

As part of that, the food court will grow from the current 164 seats to 296 seats.

Paul, 45, added: “There are more than 12 food halls being built across the UK at the moment.

“And if you look at what’s happening in the area we’ve got similar developments in Stretford and Crewe and the team behind Altrincham Market and Mackie Mayor have opened Picturedrome in Macclesfield.

“We could see that trend coming in a number of years ago when we started doing street markets and our street food there was incredibly popular and was overtaking some of the traditional goods you find at markets.

Warrington Guardian:

Cafe at the End of the Universe is one of the market's most popular hot food outlets

“They were driving that younger generation in and we took that on board when we were developing the temporary market for our current site and for the new one.

“Our current food court has been very successful. It’s full most days and the food businesses we have lost have gone on to open businesses in the north west such as Cheshire Pizza which is now in Bridge Street.”

The team also hope the new hall can be a launchpad for start-ups and small businesses ready for the next step.

Paul, a dad-of-two, said: “The majority of the units on the food side are fitted out. They all have extraction and all the services are there.

“On the non-food side some come as retail shops, others are open plan and there are variety of sizes from 6 sq m to 50 sq m to accommodate start ups and businesses of various sizes.”

Andy said: “I was speaking to a guy who’s been doing artisan markets and he’s looking to step up now to six-day trading.”

Paul added: “I think what we’re providing is that stepping-stone for those who have been on the street food scene or artisan markets or sell online on things like Etsy and have aspirations to have a bricks and mortar base but the high street is just a step too far.”

Pop-up events will also continue in the new base such as the popular ‘geeky’ markets and some new ideas include fashion markets, gin and craft beer festivals and exhibitions.

Paul said: “That’s the beauty of this new development. We’ll have a great public realm and we’ve got space inside the market for pop-ups so if you’re a specialist maker or creator or if you want to try out an idea we can give you space for that.

“It’s more than just 65 stalls sat here six days a week. We hope the people of Warrington come and support it. As a resident of Warrington with two young kids – a four-year-old and a two-year-old – if I wasn’t working here I’d still be excited about the future of the town centre. I’ve got somewhere I can bring my family, do some shopping or come with mates and have a drink. It’s also just a hop, skip and jump to the Cultural Quarter and Golden Square as well.”

If you are a trader who would like to put in an application for a stall at the new Warrington Market, visit