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‘Run down’ Greater Manchester town could see a spark of change

An independent coffee shop is opening in a town where others are closing
Adam Fletcher at The Coffee House Hyde

A town on the edge of Greater Manchester has seen businesses moving out and residents calling for change. But now one coffee shop is bucking the trend.

For years, Hyde residents have bemoaned the lack of shops in the area and how businesses are shutting down and moving elsewhere.

If you ask regulars on the high street, the dearth of shops has resulted in a reduced footfall and increased anti-social behaviour on quieter streets, with people going elsewhere to do their shopping.

The Coffee House

But independent coffee shop chain The Coffee House is hoping to inspire change in Hyde after opening its doors in Clarendon Square Shopping Centre recently.

The chain already has shops in Stockport, Bolton, Sale and Bury with a promised USP of better service and a wide range of fresh food made in-house. Along with the coffee beans they roast themselves, deliveries from their Warrington-based production facility are shipped out each morning to their shops across the north west.

The Coffee House chain is hoping to open a total of 30 shops across the country this year and are targeting areas like Hyde, hoping to be part of regeneration projects.

Catalyst for change

They hope that they will stimulate an eating and drinking culture in the Tameside town – and be the catalyst for a turn around of the kind seen in Altrincham.

“We tend to thrive in places like Hyde,” said head of growth at Coffee House, Adam Fletcher.  “We like to put shops in places where we can make a difference.

“We want to be part of rejuvenating the high street. More shops are going and more eateries are coming in.

“If we can help with turning the centre around then that would be great.”

There’s a negative feeling about the town centre with shops with shutters down and ‘to let’ signs as you walk down Market Street. Many locals say they don’t want to travel to Ashton or Manchester for extra items. They want everything nearby but feel they had no choice.

The £1.2m market, redesigned in 2012, was supposed to inject new life into the centre of Hyde but it didn’t hit the mark for locals.

“I love living here, but it’s getting more run down,” said Dean Hamood.

“Ashton seems to get all the money. They’ve done up the market but in front of shops so they can’t be seen. Only the pigeons like it. Shops are closing because of the rates because they’re so high. When the leases are up they leave. If you look around we have lots of charity shops – everyone is getting priced out.”

Mr Fletcher claims that since the shop opened on April 1, locals have said it’s just what the town needs.

“We have opened shops in places like Hyde before (where the town centre has been less successful) and it has worked,” he said. “These places are where people go now rather than restaurants. It is a more casual setup that people are looking for now.

“We hope to help rejuvenate the centre. There is potential for positive change in Hyde,” said Mr Fletcher, referring to the Hyde masterplan.

“Look at Altrincham, it was a burnt out town before it was revamped and now it is the place to be.”


He went on to say how town centres are changing from how they used to be, and that there is hope that change could soon come to Hyde. Tameside Council approved a new masterplan for the town in February – something the new coffee shop hopes to become a part of.

The proposals would see a repurposed town hall, the overhaul of Clarendon Shopping Centre, creation of a more attractive public realm and a redesign of the markets.

The overhaul of the shopping centre itself is potentially the most significant change proposed on the plan, with a key aim being to demolish it, making way for a new shopping development which would rehouse the indoor market.

Meanwhile, public realm upgrades to Market Square will prioritise the use of the square for cultural events, festivals, pop-ups, and placemaking activities.

The idea behind this is to link the newly refurbished shopping centre and Market Square to the town hall just across the road, supporting the masterplan’s goals of making Hyde Town Hall a ‘regionally significant cultural destination’.

A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “The Hyde masterplan has been shaped by the people that live, work, and visit the town and will help kick-start the regeneration process. It will build on Hyde’s unique character and shape the town into a place that both the existing and future community and generations can take pride in.”

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