Operator for new Abindgon Street Market project announced

14 March 2023

Blackpool Council has unveiled the operators for the transformed Abingdon Street Market.

Blackpool Council used £3.6m of funding from Getting Building Fund to purchase the market, in the heart of Blackpool town centre, and carry out a full internal refurbishment securing its long-term future.

The Little Blackpool Leisure Company Limited, made up of Blackpool born directors Andrew Shields and James Lucas, and locally based Jake Whittington have now agreed terms with Blackpool Council to bring the market into their portfolio of local, successful businesses.

The market will join the company’s existing Blackpool ventures including the South American street joint Common Bar and Kitchen and Nook Wine Room & Terrace.

The renovated market will see a bright, modern space created with new glazed doors and windows, including:

  • A new 250 seating area for socialising and enjoying food and beverages purchased in the market
  • Six dedicated food outlets and two bar areas
  • A range of units providing food produce, artisan stalls and flexible retail space for independent traders
  • Café/coffee stall and bar area

The updated market space will provide fantastic opportunity for local people and visitors to enjoy a new, contemporary space with an exciting and fresh offer unlike anywhere else in Blackpool.

Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Job Creation, said: “Gaining the funding for the refurbishment of the space has been a pivotal part in allowing Blackpool to keep a fundamental and historic building, well-known to our locals and visitors alike.

“A brilliant plan is in place via the operators to ensure the refurbishment brings a modern twist, whilst restoring the character of the original building many know and love.

“The improved market will provide a wonderful opportunity for locals to enjoy all there is on offer socially, as well as creating local jobs and benefits to the wider economy.

“It is fantastic to see a local company be successfully appointed as the operator for Abingdon Street Market and we look forward to what the future holds for this venture.”

Andy Shields, Director of Little Blackpool Leisure Company Limited, said: “We’re thrilled to share this amazing news! Abingdon Street Market is – quite literally – the heart of our town centre and it means so much to everyone in the Blackpool area, as so many of us will have memories of visiting the market throughout the years. And that’s exactly why it’s so important to us that we retain that sense of the space being a local landmark which caters for local people.

“Inspired by the other successful market propositions in the area such as the Mackie Mayor in Manchester and Baltic Market in Liverpool, our ambition is to turn Abingdon Street Market into the beating heart of our town centre, bringing a mix of quality and most importantly local food vendors and traders under one roof.

“We can’t wait to start speaking to local businesses to really bring our vision of the market to life – and, of course, opening our doors later this year.”

The first phase of Abingdon Street Market is anticipated to open in June 2023.


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