Idea: Revitalising Chipping Barnet’s market offer
Develop a strategy for Chipping Barnet’s market offer including the current bi-weekly Barnet Market run by The Spires (planning to expand to four times a week), the monthly Teenage Market ran by volunteers from the Town Team, alongside the potential for more pop-up markets.
The strategy would include:
One of the challenges of the current location behind the Spires is its lack of presence on the high street. Trial more visible locations:
- Teenage Market at the College square
- Test market stalls on the pavement widening
- Linking the market at the rear of the Spires to the high street with more markets utilising the inside of the mall
- Use of any street closures for temporary markets
- Potential long-term ideas including a Market Shop offering a base on the high street through the week. Actively link to a vacant unit strategy, using available space for test-trading and grow-on units
- In future redevelopment on the high street, such as the Spires, assess co-locating the Market to maximise visibility
Wider Themes / Offer
Explore ways to increase enthusiasm and interest in the market. It needs to be progressive, change with the seasons and grow.
- Seasonal events – the market mustn’t stagnate.
- Additions themes, e.g. Antiques or Farmers Market. If successful, deliver into a regular addition.
- Promote an ethos, e.g. sustainability with ethical and local produce, no single-use plastic policy and collective recycling.
Branding and Marketing
Explore wider promotions and marketing, such as a website, social media and active recruitment to attract traders and shoppers. Potential for collective branding across the wider market offer linked to the Town Centre’s identity and website.
Nurture new businesses and local supply chains
The market should act as a local business incubator offering low-risk trading for new businesses. A strategy should be explored, including starter pitches to the potential of a Market Fund to offer small grants, and partnering with other organisations to offer training.
Role of the Markets Manager
Explore the potential of a markets manager that works across the town’s market offer. Develop stronger links with other town projects, attractions and businesses. Links need to exist with as many as possible, so the market is central and integrated into the town.
Explore the community’s role, as passionate local involvement can increase the potential of what Chipping Barnet can achieve. For example, at the end of the current operator contract for Barnet Market, could the community run the market as a social enterprise?
Why it is useful:
- Aspiration for Chipping Barnet to be identified as a Market Town
- As a key part of the town’s history, opportunity to strengthen the identity
- Current bi-weekly market not meeting local aspirations
- The Teenage Market needs a long-term, sustainable plan for how it will be led
- Markets and pop-up stalls offer a low-risk way for new businesses to test ideas and develop
Who needs to be involved:
- The Spires: Lead /Operator bi-weekly Barnet Market / Site owner of The Spires
- Barnet & Southgate College: Site owner of College Square / Potential partner (Teenage Market)
- Council: Support / Site-owner of public realm/high street /Licensing role
- Teenage Market
- Town Team: Champion
- Local Market Traders / Local Makers / Local Food Stalls
How to get started:
- Existing operators – make proposals, test ideas and partner where appropriate
- Test feasibility of new locations (access, licensing etc)
- Engage landowners of additional sites
- Test ideas with local business/traders, potential traders and public
- Funding opportunities: Operators self-fund the trail of new locations. Explore future GLA / government funding to develop a holistic, long-term markets strategy and make any physical changes required, eg High Street recovery crowdfund programmes
- Sites: The Spires (current market location), Barnet & Southgate College (College Square – agreed in principle for use for Teenage Market) and the Council (high street e.g. pavement build out)
- Resources: Requires resource to develop and test strategy including trial changes.
Example: The Duck Pond Market
Duck Pond Market’s ethos is based on supporting local traders and sourcing products which are both ethical and sustainable. They take a festival-like approach and combine interesting stalls, locally and sustainably sourced food with crafts, homewares and arts. Using a holistic approach to curating a market they have also initiated complementary programmes such as Live@DPM which encourages musicians and artists to perform at their markets. They have a modern, easy to use, customer-facing website which hosts everything from stall prices, trader information and an easy to use booking system.
Example: St Albans Market
St Albans has an annual programme of themed Sunday markets to complement the strong Wednesday and Saturday charter markets. The town holds its commuter population on a Sunday and captures leisure visitors from nearby towns and villages; careful assessment of the demographic has identified their desire for a farmer’s market, antiques and vintage, vegan and vegetarian products and environmentally friendly products. Each market is highly successful with very high footfall, the shops and restaurants all benefit from the knock-on effects.
Example: Levenhulme Market
Levenshulme Market is a volunteer-run market that operates as a social enterprise. They set up because they believed a market could help improve their high street. The Market is owned and strategically led by a team of volunteer directors with expertise in different fields ranging from finance and HR to marketing and community engagement. They are supported by a team of staff who run the market day-to-day. They have launched a Market Fund to award grants, and have also secured funding to deliver a High Street Community Economy Development Plan.