Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer has been unveiled as the new ambassador of Bolton Market.
Established chef and restaurateur, Simon is well known for his culinary talents and entrepreneurial skill.
He is a popular television presenter and owner of highly successful vegetarian restaurant Greens in West Didsbury, and Earle in Hale.
And he is now set to be the famous face of one of Britain’s oldest and most acclaimed markets. Bolton Market, which was crowned Best Food Market in BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards 2011, is undergoing a £4.5 million refurbishment that is close to completion.
The chef, who has been working in the food industry for more than 20 years, will use his expertise and experience to help traders maximise business opportunities, and achieve their full potential.
Simon will meet businesses for the first time when he attends the official reopening of Bolton Market’s new lifestyle hall on Friday, February 14.
The centrepiece of the multi-million market revamp is the hall, formerly known as the indoor miscellaneous market. It now has a brand new modern layout with a central food court area. Around a third of the 40 businesses in the hall are new, with traders including a micro-pub, Great Ale Year Round, and The Coffee Grind, a coffee bean company.
Some businesses have started trading but work is still underway and will be completed in time for the launch on February 14.
As part of his work, the chef will be hosting masterclasses with traders and sharing his wealth of industry knowledge to help them succeed.
Simon said: “I’m a massive advocate of fresh, local produce and passionate about shopping local so I was more than happy to become Bolton Market’s ambassador.
“Bolton is very fortunate in that it has a fantastic market, and I wanted to get involved in promoting what really is the jewel in Bolton’s crown.
“I visited Bolton Market a few years ago and was really impressed then by what I saw. I think now with this refurbishment it will be even better.
“I think there is this perception that much older people shop at markets but what Bolton is trying to do with the new hall is attract the next generation of shoppers, which should be shouted about. I’m looking forward to working with the traders in the months ahead.”
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “Simon is a well-known household name and an inspiration to any business owner who wants to succeed. We’re absolutely delighted to have him on board. The redevelopment of the market is a key town centre project for the council and Simon’s support is another boost.”
Other improvements that are taking place as part of the refurbishment include the construction of a new outdoor market.
The open market will move from its current location to New Street, on the opposite side of the market building, closer to the planned Transport Interchange. This is planned to be in place by the end of February.