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It’s now our 5th Year Of 5 Things I’d Like To See Happen In Altrincham In … series

2017 has been our hardest year to date for this list partly because Altrincham is in such a good place at the moment and partly because we’ve made 20 suggestions before which we believe are pivotal to the success of the town

2016’s suggestions were
1. People Think About What They Share Online
2. Altrincham Businesses Care Enough To Share
3. Grafton Mall Comes Back Into Usage
4. Altrincham BID starts to have some real wins
5. We Get Successful Openings In Altrincham Rather Than Short Term Openings

You can read it in full here

So on to 5 Things I’d Like To See Happen In Altrincham in 2017

Coco's Altrincham
1. Established Businesses Get The Praise They Deserve

All the businesses that were set up before or during the recession and made a massive success of it should be hero’ed

There’s no debating that the Market has played a big part in Altrincham’s revival – but lots of successful businesses existed before the market and still do

And the media keeps reiterating the narrative of Altrincham being a ghost town, Market House Altrincham opened and then town was not a ghost town

This narrative played out in 2 recent foodie features on Altrincham where the only pre-Market House business journalists could muster up is Francs which closed down after 20+ years. It was almost as if no restaurants or bars had opened in the town from Francs till after 2014

Coco’s, Yara, The Belgian Bar, Altrincham Fish Bar, Phanthong, Oxford Road Cafe, Mort Subite, House Restaurant & Bar are just a handful of them

Always busy. Regularly left out of the media narrative

We started Altrincham HQ as a community project in 2009, turned it into a business in 2010. The National Press called the town a ghost town, every News Report on struggling high streets featured George Street in Altrincham, there were no Town Centre loan schemes or help from the council. It was a risky time to set up a business. Lots said it couldn’t be done. Hard work and determination paid off

The established businesses now celebrating their 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and so on birthdays deserve praise instead of being written out of the narrative

Bistrot Pierre
2. Businesses Launch Properly With Intent

What really impressed me with Porta Tapas, Con Club Altrincham and Bistrot Pierre is they realised the important of launching properly

Back in the early days of Altrincham HQ virtually every business launched with a party to make a real splash in the town

Key businesses and key tweeters were invited to celebrate with them and let the world know they had arrived in town

And then over the past couple of years businesses opened without any marketing, any launch party and wondered why 6 months later people still weren’t aware they existed

The 3 businesses above you couldn’t miss they were open because they made connections with businesses in the town before they opened and launched in a massive way

Bistrot Pierre in particular had a week of launches before opening. Inviting an Instagrammers meetup, local businesses for lunch for a week and a huge launch party the day before they opened officially

We hope this continues because the launch phase for a business is critical – far too many businesses open doors and don’t tell anyone apart from close friends and family

Taste Of Trafford
3. Taste Of Trafford returns

When you talk to people in Altrincham about what they love about old Altrincham – The Taste Of Trafford always crops up in conversation

It was one of the Altrincham highlights of the year, one you cleared the diary for and one that the whole family attended

Importantly it highlighted Trafford wide businesses here in Altrincham where you discovered some of the finest foodie businesses in the borough

Over the past 12 months i’ve heard great things about new openings in Sale and Urmston and i’d love to try them out. And i’m sure people from Sale and Urmston keep hearing great things about foodie businesses in Altrincham

The problem, and it’s a good one, is there are so many new bars and restaurants opening in Altrincham that I rarely get the chance to dine out in other Trafford towns unless i’m working there

Taste Of Trafford would be great for the borough and get people from different towns discovering the finest new restaurants across Altrincham

It probably couldn’t be at the market any more, but the recent Vegan Food Fair shows there’s demand for a big food event

Promote What You Love
4. People Stop Complaining and People Start Promoting

I know people love Altrincham because when you’re out at weekend it’s hard to get a table in a restaurant unless you book; you often struggle to get a seat at a bar; George Street is buzzing every lunchtime; the gyms are rammed; professional services firms have never been busier

People are out spending and enjoying all that Altrincham has to offer

And then you look at Twitter and the complainers are out in force tweeting away from the comfort of their armchair

40,000 people out spending and supporting the town vs a handful of people sat at home complaining about the town

And guess who is more vocal – you got it, those sat in their armchair 🙁

Twitter suffers because of the silence of good people

Promote what you love. Promote those places you spend at every day. Promote Altrincham

The Stamford Arms Bowdon 2017
5. The Stamford, Raka, Altair and Stamford New Road complete

If you’ve followed conversations on Twitter and Facebook you’ll have heard the rumours re: the Old McDonalds and Pizza Hut units – 2 key units in Altrincham Town Centre

If both of those rumours happen it will be pivotal in how the town moves forward

In 2017 we’d also like to see a few key units and developments happen in Greater Altrincham

The Stamford has been delayed due to planning – 15-20 years ago it used to be the place to go and people want it open again and become a huge success

Raka – there’s lots of talk around Hale village as to why this hasn’t opened. Whether it’s Raka that opens or something else – it’s a prime unit in Hale

Altair – after being talked about for the best part of 15 years will diggers finally make a start on Altair. Good or bad for Altrincham? It’s one of those debates that keeps going on

Stamford New Road – you can envisage how good the shared space scheme will look from the work done so far, but it’s a shame it seems to be taking so long


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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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