Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer served up a treat on Valentine’s Day as Bolton Market’s new lifestyle hall was unveiled after a £4.5 million revamp.
The popular television presenter is the ambassador for the market, and he entertained crowds who had gathered for the first day of the “fall in love with the new Bolton Market” launch event with a lively cookery demonstration in the food court in the lifestyle hall.
He whetted the appetites of shoppers and civic dignitaries as he cooked up sea bass served with shrimp korma and a beef tataki salad, using fresh ingredients from Bolton Market.
Simon said: “When I was approached a few years ago and told about the plans for refurbishing the market, I was delighted to be involved.
“Bolton’s always had a fantastic food market and now what the council’s done is turned this hall into a modern retail space, which is fabulous. It’s modern and the central seating area in the food court is great because you can sit and feel that sense of community.”
The centrepiece of the market revamp is the lifestyle hall, formerly known as the indoor miscellaneous market. It now has a modern layout with a central food court. Around a third of the 40 businesses in the hall are new including: Plantation Flowers, a tropical florist; Great Ale Year Round, a micro-pub; and The Coffee Grind, a coffee bean company. A new outdoor market on New Street has also been constructed.
Simon was joined at the market by Apprentice star and former market trader Adam Corbally, who came along to offer support and advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Celebrations to mark the relaunch of the market lasted for two days, with cookery demonstrations on Saturday, February 15 from top local chefs Jon Jones, from the Farmers Arms; Nick Cullen from Nick’s Restaurant on Chorley Old Road, and Luciano from Luciano’s at the Millstone restaurant in Chorley.
Entertainment was provided throughout the launch by jazz band Bourbon Street Rood Raisers, street entertainers and balloon artists.
Bolton Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, Councillor John Byrne, added: “The market looks fantastic and it’s great to see it so busy. The new lifestyle hall complements our acclaimed food halls and what we’re doing is attracting new visitors as well as the traditional market regulars.
“It’s also great to have someone of Simon’s calibre on board, and his backing is a great asset for the market.”
The new market also met the approval of Andy Lever, Senior Field Support Officer from the National Market Traders’ Federation, who added: “Speaking to businesses it is amazing how positive they are about the future. All of them have invested time and money into their new stalls. There was plenty of footfall and a real buzz around the place.”