The team behind bustling food halls in Northern Quarter and Altrincham have set their sights southwards

Market Operations, the team behind the renovations of Altrincham Market House and Northern Quarter's Mackie Mayor, have laid out plans for their next project.

The group have summited a planning application to Cheshire East council to transform Macclesfield's historic Picturedrome cinema hall - first opened in 1911 - into another bustling European-style food and drink hall.

The scheme, designed by Buttress architects and lodged with the council last month, aims to 'repurpose' the old cinema house and bingo hall by introducing up to eleven independent, open-fronted kitchens and bars surrounding long communal dining tables - following the award-winning formula introduced to Altrincham in 2014 and Northern Quarter in 2017.

Picturedrome Macclesfield
Market Operations want to transform Macclesfield's Picturedrome into a bustling food hall

In a letter addressed to locals, Market Operations boss Nick Johnson says: "The idea is relatively simple, each of the kitchens is owned by an independent operator and the dining area is shared so you can enjoy a wide variety of food together at the same shared table. 

"Our customer base is very wide and varied appealing to the very young to the very old, from the craft ale beer nuts to wine connoisseurs, from food fans to those who just want a good coffee and a nice cake."   

According to Market Operations, they currently feed over 25,000 people a week across their two sites and say that the new project has the potential to 'kickstart the regeneration of Macclesfield town and bring new life, businesses and employment to the more neglected west end'.

171017 Mackie Mayor Img 1785
The Mackie Mayor in Northern Quarter reopened in October 2017

The group intend - as is their way - to 'strip the building back to its essential form' while retaining original features, including the Picturedrome's distinctive Art Deco frontage and the 'ornate plasterwork' decorating its columns and arches.

The ambitious proposal also includes plans to project film footage onto a screen in the main hall (a nod to the building's original use) and create a large outdoor dining area featuring three external kitchens, large retractable canopies with infra-red heating and seating for a further 80 people.

A decision on the planning application is expected by September 20th.