The newly renovated Abingdon Street Market opens its doors for the first time this weekend.
The market, which has recently been given a slick and extensive facelift to align with modern 'food hall’-style venues such as those seen in Manchester or Liverpool, will open to the public for the first time at 12pm tomorrow (Saturday, 27th May). The venue opening will be marked with a live DJ playing 12pm – 6pm, with local musicians Daisy Atkinson and Chris Wilde playing 7pm -10pm.
Upon opening, the Abingdon Street Market food hall, whose entrance is located on Edward Street, will be open from 9am – 10pm Monday – Sunday.
Visitors to the newly-opened market will be able to try food samples from the six local independent food vendors joining the market, as well as sampling drinks from one of the venue's two bars or coffee shop as well as enjoying live entertainment for the opening weekend in the spacious open dining area. The new food and drink vendors will be announced over the upcoming week on social media channels, with one vendor being announced each day leading up to the venues opening date.
As well as the variety of locally-focused food and drink vendors, Abingdon Street Market will also open retail units with a range of products, from fresh produce to handmade crafts and gifts later in the year – which new operators Little Blackpool Leisure hope will reinvigorate the town centre as a shopping destination.
Abingdon Street Market will also be available for use as an events space, and the operators hope to use it for community events, live music and charity-led initiatives.
The building was opened in 1862 as Blackpool's police station – a detail preserved in the stone-carved 'Police Station' sign above the Abingdon Street entrance - before being converted to an indoor market in 1928.
The contract to operate Abingdon Street Market was awarded to Little Blackpool Leisure, a company run by James Lucas, Andy Shields and Jake Whittington. The team also operates nearby Common Bar & Kitchen and Nook Wine Room and Terrace, which have gained a reputation as some of Blackpool's most popular destinations for food and drink.
Little Blackpool Leisure team said: ‘’We're so excited to finally open the doors to the new version of Abingdon Street Market and get to see this new phase in its long heritage begin. It has been a mainstay of the town centre for many decades now, so finally seeing locals and visiting tourists enjoy the space again will be really special.
‘’There's definitely going to be an air of celebration – we're looking forward to enjoying the entertainment and welcoming visitors to the market. To see it come to life and take on that bustling market feel – as it has done for so many years before – will be an honour.
Cllr Mark Smith, Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Job Creation, Blackpool Council, said: ‘’We’re delighted that the official opening date of Abingdon Street Market has been announced. The funding of the market has been a pivotal part in allowing Blackpool to keep a fundamental and historic building, well-known to our locals and visitors alike.
‘’The improved Abingdon Street Market will provide a wonderful opportunity for locals to enjoy all there is on to offer socially, as well as creating local jobs and benefits to the wider economy. We can’t wait to see this space open and be thoroughly enjoyed by many.
This project has received £315,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and £3,634,435 from the Getting Building Fund.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills. For more information, see the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus.