Andy Ward, Manager at Warrington Market, has scooped a prestigious national award.

He has been named Market Manager of the Year by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA).

The ‘Market Heroes’ awards ceremony, which took place as part of the NABMA annual conference's gala dinner, saw Andy take the top prize for the independently-judged ‘Market Manager of the Year for a large market’.

Andy’s award follows in the footsteps of the new market winning Cheshire's Market of the Year in 2020 and the market team winning Market Team of the Year earlier this year.

Judges praised Andy for his work in leading his team through COVID and the transition from a temporary to a permanent new market. They also highlighted the success and profile the market achieved by remaining open throughout lockdowns, which made it part of the economic centre and focus of Warrington, helping sustain the town centre and leading the high street recovery.

Andy Ward said: “No one could have predicted the challenges that lay ahead of us at the beginning of 2020. It’s been a massive effort, and we’ve had to be innovative and do things differently at times, but it’s really paid off. It’s wonderful to see the market going from strength to strength as a popular, vibrant venue, enjoyed by so many people from Warrington and beyond. Receiving this national recognition from my peers is the icing on the cake!

“Of course, none of this success could have been achieved without the dedicated, hardworking and talented Warrington Market team and our traders, so this award is definitely dedicated to all of them too.”

This is the 2nd time Andy has won the coveted award - the first time in 2013, when he worked for Sheffield City Council.

Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for economic development and innovation, Cllr Tom Jennings, said: “This national award – the latest success story for Warrington Market - is well-deserved. Andy’s dedication, expertise and innovation have been crucial in making the new market a first-class destination which we can all be proud of.

“Andy has worked closely with his team and traders to help the market navigate the challenges of Covid-19, and that work has really paid off. Together, they are delivering a vibrant, welcoming and safe venue which is playing a key part in the recovery of our town centre.”

The main market is currently open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Saturday whilst the Cookhouse food hall is open 11am to 7pm Monday to Thursday, 11am to 11pm Friday and Saturday and 10am to 7pm on Sundays

For more information about what’s happening at Warrington Market, visit warrington.gov.uk/market,  email markets@warrington.gov.uk  or follow on social media @warringtonmkt