BOLTON Market’s new “lifestyle hall” is due to be officially launched today after its £4.5 million revamp.
Councillors, celebrities and market association delegates are in Bolton to unveil the new facilities, with the Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Colin Shaw, cutting a Valentine’s cake at 12.45pm to mark the official opening.
TV chef Simon Rimmer will be joined by Adam Corbally, former contestant on The Apprentice, at the launch.
Mr Corbally, who has spent much of his business life as a market trader, said he was delighted to be involved.
Market bosses have coined the relaunch the “Fall in love with Bolton Market weekend”, with the reopening coming exactly a year on from the closure of the old indoor hall before work began.
There are 40 stalls in the indoor hall, of which a third are new to Bolton Market, including beer stall Great Ale Year Round and Cameroonian curry outlet Nkono.
Mr Corbally said: “I’ve worked with several markets across the North West and have been involved with Bolton’s several times.
“Markets are obviously very close to my heart. They are great for communities and for town-centre footfall.
“They are a fantastic way to start a business on a shoestring and if I had not been given an opportunity at a market, I may never have started in business.”
Mr Rimmer, known for his work on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, was due to give a cooking demonstration in the lifestyle hall at noon today.
Cllr John Byrne, Cabinet member for community services, said: “The market is recognised as the finest food market in the North West due to its ever-popular fish market, and fruit and veg hall. The idea behind the transformation is to make it even better and to attract new visitors as well as the traditional market regulars.
“The new food court offers a cosmopolitan range of food choices from Italian pizza and pasta to African curries and soups. Many of the old favourites that people will remember before the refurbishment are still here too.”
Tomorrow, from 11am to 3pm, there will be free face-painting, balloon artists and the jazz band Bourbon Street Roof Raisers entertaining shoppers.
A free cookery demonstration will take place at 10.30am in the food court by local chef Jon Jones, managing director of the Farmers Arms in Radcliffe Road.
Other improvements include a new outdoor market in New Street, closer to the planned Transport Interchange, with shuttered units. Outdoor market traders will be operating there from Tuesday.