Stretford is buzzing – and it’s all thanks to the help of Trafford Council!
Customers are flocking to newly-opened Stretford Food Hall, Longford Tap and HEAD – all of which received funding from Trafford Council’s Town Centre Business Growth Programme.
Stretford is now becoming a real destination for a great night out - and the great news is more new businesses are forecast to open in the near future.
The latest bar, Longford Tap, opened in mid-September on King Street, much to the delight of real ale fans. This is the brainchild of local businessmen, and brothers, Paul and David Burgess.
The pair know Stretford well having been directors of local signage company, RW Signs, for more than 15 years. Their vision for Longford Tap is to create a locally brewed craft ale bar, focusing on beers from breweries around Manchester, supported by an eclectic programme of events.
David Burgess said:
The idea and ethos behind The Longford Tap, to open a bar serving craft ale from local producers, has been a dream of mine and Paul’s for a while now. The Trafford Town Centre Loan Scheme has been instrumental in enabling us to turn our dream in to a reality, joining a growing, successful food and drink hub in Stretford Mall."
Stretford Food Hall, which opened in July, is an amalgamation of convenience store, food court and bar; selling quirky products alongside every-day groceries, hosting pop-up street food vendors and running vibrant events. So far, street vendors at Stretford Food Hall have included Asian street food trader Slurp, Crackle & Pop, Basilico pop-up pizza and Blue Caribou Canteen, serving authentic Canadian Poutine.
Owner, Mital Morar, also owns Ancoats General Store and he’s brought that same ethos to Stretford; promoting local produce, sustainability and package free shopping.
Mr Morar said:
My approach to Ancoats General Store is to bring a unique and exciting product mix alongside the general, everyday goods that people need, and create a social space for the community through events and a unique food offering. I saw Stretford as an ideal place to expand that approach, and the Town Centres Loan Scheme has been an essential part of our initial success here."
HEAD bar on Chester Road, owned by Stretford resident James Gibson, was the first of these new businesses to open last December. It offers locally sourced beers and snacks in the space that used to be the HSBC bank. The quirky 1970s styled interior retains many of the original features, including the bank counter that is now a two-sided, open bar.
I moved to Stretford a couple of years ago and couldn't believe the lack of choice in bars and the general nightlife. Although we had a few old pubs which would subsequently close, almost everyone in the community I spoke to were travelling to nearby Chorlton, Urmston and the city centre to socialise as these places offered modern surroundings with craft beer and a range of events.
Stretford has a great community of a people from all different backgrounds so I wanted to give them somewhere that offered this that was on their doorstep. Somewhere that was warm and welcoming to everyone. It took a long time for Head to open and I wouldn't have been able to do so if it wasn't for the Councils loan scheme. It's now great to be part of what looks like will be a rapidly growing food and drink scene."
The Town Centres Loan Scheme offers up to £10,000 to businesses who will bring vacant ground floor premises (in Altrincham, Sale, Stretford and Urmston town centres) back into use, or up to £5,000 to help promote and market a business and ensure that it remains competitive.
Cllr James Wright, Trafford Council's Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration, said:
As a local authority we are committed to supporting businesses within our town centres, ensuring that they have every opportunity to thrive in Trafford. To date the Town Centres Loan Scheme has supported 42 businesses across Trafford, which has leveraged over £1.7m of private sector investment and created 189 new jobs.
We are currently investing heavily in improving the look, feel and flow of Stretford town centre; investing millions of pounds into public realm improvements bringing forward major developments and, in a joint venture with Bruntwood, we have recently acquired Stretford Mall to act as a catalyst for further investment and regeneration of the town. The Council has a dedicated Town Centres Team which acts as the first point of contact to assist businesses in, or looking to locate to, the area and a Business Growth Advisor is on hand to provide specialist one-on-one support for businesses.”
For more information about the Town Centres Loan Scheme and how to apply please visit www.investintrafford.com or call the Town Centres team on 0161 912 4176.
Posted on Thursday 7th November 2019