Here’s a guest post by one of our PR interns Maria (@mpfalangi) who has spent the last year working with our team. I blogged about our interns ages ago (see here) and they’ve proved a real breath of fresh air. Now that they’re about to leave we’re really going to miss them. Here, Maria talks about one of the projects she’d been working on.
Who doesn’t love a good local market? This fortnight is an opportunity for both traders and shoppers to be part of something bigger.
Northumberland’s markets are taking part in the 2013 national Love Your Local Market campaign which is led by the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) and backed by Central Government and the wider market industry.
The idea for a National Market Day (which morphed into the Love Your Local Market fortnight) was one of the 28 recommendations of the Portas Review into the future of the UK’s High Streets. Love your local market is a celebration of local markets in the UK, bringing old and new traders together under the same brand.
The council is supporting the campaign, which is in its second year and is running for two weeks from May 15 to May 29. The fortnight aims to attract new market traders and to highlight the importance that markets play in the heart of the local community, not only for retail but as a valuable community asset that provides a focal point of many of the county’s town centres.
Where we are now
National Market Fortnight in Northumberland is celebrated in many ways: budding entrepreneurs had the opportunity to try out market trading for just a tenner to provide opportunities for new and start-up businesses. A number of free pitches were also available at Northumberland markets to small business owners who want to make their mark in the market and bring a new product to the towns’ shoppers.
Through a scheme called First Pitch, candidates were asked to submit an idea for a product or service that they thought they could sell at their local market. Small business owners of the future could trade on any market in Northumberland for up to 12 months at discounted rent and be given personalised support from the NMTF.
Graham Wilson OBE, chief executive of the National Association of British Market Authorities stated that their intention was to make Love Your Local Market 2013 the biggest and best market campaign the UK has ever seen. Indeed, the campaign has smashed all expectations with over 660 markets participating this year, creating nearly 3,000 events across the country during LYLM 2013.
Love your local market is helping the high street evolve, nurturing new generations of entrepreneurs and bringing fresh ideas and new faces into local markets.
But it isn’t only about giving a start to a new generation of retail entrepreneurs. It’s about celebrating the role of markets in sustaining town centres and communities. They have a key role to play and can be a significant economic driver in the success of a town, as they help to increase footfall and bring extra business to the town, benefiting the local traders and complementing what’s already available.
Shopping at a local market is a social experience, a far cry from a rushed trip to a supermarket. Markets have the power to bring new life to an area and showcase wonderful rural products, which all need our support. From fresh fruit and vegetables to the finest fabrics – Northumberland’s markets have something for everyone!
So why not rediscover your local market this fortnight? Bag yourself a bargain, while at the same time helping to support your local town. New products are also always welcome as they are a breath of fresh air and Northumberland County Council’s award winning markets support new traders all year round.