Shops & Markets

Market House closed due to coronavirus crisis – but Covered Market to transform into food and drink delivery service

By David Prior at

Altrincham’s Market House and its sister food halls, Mackie Mayor in Manchester and Picturedrome in Macclesfield, are to close as a result of the escalating coronavirus outbreak.

Owner Market Operations has taken the “reluctant” decision to close the buildings following yesterday’s package of economic measures announced by the Chancellor yesterday, which it said placed it “between a rock and a hard place”.

One hundred and fifty staff have been laid off as part of the move, which represents a devastating blow for Altrincham having played such a role in its revival in recent years.

However, the Covered Market will be remaining open and a new takeaway service, combining “essential” produce from some of the traders still remaining, will launch this Friday.

Mackie Mayor in the Northern Quarter has also been closed down

Market Operations has no plans to close Market House permanently, and are determined to reopen as soon as the coronavirus crisis is over.

A statement from Market Operations said: “We’ve taken the reluctant decision to close Mackie Mayor in Manchester and Picturedrome in Macclesfield today. In spite of the Chancellor’s announcement yesterday, insurers are almost gleefully saying they won’t pay out and that if we close it’s our decision – here’s what our broker told us: “The problem in the meantime obviously is that should you take a business decision to close due either to concerns about staff welfare or decline in trading insurers would not accept the claim” which places us and all our friends and colleagues in the hospitality industry between a rock and a hard place!

“However down at Alty Market we’re a little more resilient and we want to keep your spirits up and continue to provide an essential service to you and yours and all those folks who have been encouraged to stay at home.”

Picturedrome in Macclesfield was Market Operations’ third site and only opened in October

The new takeaway service will launch this Friday, with staff manning phones to take orders.

Market Operations added: “We’re going to keep the Covered Market open providing an ‘enhanced’ essential service to the local community including delicious takeaway food and drink, along with fresh fruit and veg, fresh fish, meat, award-winning bread and we’re even in the process of working out just how we can get this delivered directly to your door!

“So from Friday the Covered Market will be open from 8am as usual for fresh essentials, there will be a new deli stall staffed and stocked by all the kitchens and from 11am we’ll be serving hot food to take away and eat at home, alongside a full range of beers and wines until 8pm. We hope to get this going Tuesday to Sunday (though we’ll close 6pm Sundays).

“Keep your eyes peeled on social media for our dishes of the day, there will be a series of options from each kitchen and we’ll be at the other end of a staffed phone to take your orders. We’re working our how we’re gonna deliver too but you’ll have to bear with us until we’ve worked out exactly how we can get that to work.”