Charcon, the commercial hard landscaping division of Aggregate Industries, has successfully completed delivery of over 4,000m2 of natural stone to Ashton Market Square in Tameside, Greater Manchester.
Part of a masterplan to transform the historic square into a modern and vibrant place, Tameside Council were looking for a paving solution that would preserve the character of the area, add design interest and showcase the space at its best.
Inspired by Salford City Council’s successful Greengate public realm project, Tameside specified 4,100m2 of Italian Porphyry natural stone paving, including all of its ten distinct colour variations and hues. In addition to its striking aesthetics, Italian Porphyry was selected for its hard wearing, frost and skid resistant properties ensuring it would perform on durability in an area of high footfall.
Charcon attended multiple design meetings and provided technical laying and delivery support for the Council’s in-house contracting team. A well-established supply network in Northern Italy meant that sourcing the full range of colour variations from a variety of different quarries was no issue.
As a busy, active market place, open seven days a week, the Council wanted minimal disruption. Upgrade works had to be phased, with parts of the market closed off during certain stages and supporting traffic measures put in place. Partnering with local merchant, Benchmark Building Supplies, Charcon was able to store all of the natural stone to be supplied at their Ashton compound, calling off necessary stocks as required on the job just a couple of miles down the road.
Mike Davies, Category Manager for Charcon, said: “We were delighted to not only supply Tameside Council with the volume of Italian Porphyry natural stone required, in the full range of hues, but also to support them with design and delivery. Our partnership with Benchmark was also critical to ensure we were able to supply the project in a timely fashion. With natural stone taking care, attention and time to lay correctly, being able to call off smaller quantities at a time really assisted project delivery.
“Premium natural stone, such as our Italian Porphyry, is becoming more and more popular in public realm spaces. It’s distinctive and looks great, is incredibly hard wearing and is reasonably easy to maintain because of its low absorbance rate giving it higher resistance to staining. It’s a great choice for high footfall city centre applications.”
The redevelopment of Ashton Market will see the introduction of new stalls and kiosks, high quality landscaping and trees, a performance area, seating areas as well as new street furniture and lighting. The project will not only provide a brand new modern market for traders and shoppers but will also complement the multi-million pound “Vision Tameside” masterplan.