UK Markets to be joined by 15 other countries to celebrate Love Your Local Market 2015 

Happy New Year to all the market operators, traders and market customers out there.

810_537f5dcf258e0-10349779_279739092197403_362115573_nIt has been a busy season in the Love Your Local Market office keeping up with all the activity over the holiday season.  So many of you got involved with our seasonal hashtag #LYLMXmas as well as getting behind Small Business Saturday UK.

Evidence in the national press suggested that Christmas Markets enjoyed higher footfall this year, with Manchester reporting an increase of over 100,000 visitors.   There certainly seemed to be a buzz and excitement about them that does not seem to have been matched with the national retailers, if reports out this week are anything to go by.

A whopping 500 Christmas Market photos were entered into our #LYLMXmas photo competition and the winner was randomly selected from the voters with the market receiving the most votes.  The prize of £30 of Market Vouchers, to be spent in the market of choice was chosen for The Angel Market in Worcestershire, which reopened just before Christmas after benefitting from a £550,000 revamp.  Operators LSD Promotions have reported good footfall and traders optimistic for the future.

TomatoesWe are really looking forward to the year ahead and seeing all of the Love Your Local Market activity.  I have just had the honour of being asked onto the judging panel for the Great British Market Awards, for the Best Love Your Local Market category and it is humbling to see the energy and enthusiasm that went into last year’s events afresh.

Winners in all twelve categories of the GBMA’s will be announced at the Mission for Markets Conference in Birmingham at the end of the month, including that of Britain’s Favourite Market, that a little birdy has told us received 119 nominations for UK markets that between them garnered over 110,000 votes. We will be sure to post the winners on the Love Your Local Market website for all of you that cannot make it.

Can’t quite believe it is 2015 – where does the time go.  I hope you have all got it firmly in your minds to start using the hashtag #LYLM2015 so we can help support your markets throughout the year.  Registration is now open and although this is a process we go through every year, it really is very important to keep doing so.  As the campaign increases in popularity, the load on our administration and marketing team also increases and to ensure we can satisfy partners and sponsors, we need to know just how many of you are taking part and what you are doing.

more from lylm 2014Bookings are now open for regional roadshows.  These are not LYLM specific this year, and are being jointly run by NABMA and the NMTF as part of the Mission for Markets campaign but Love Your Local Market will be covered and we hope that you book a slot early, as we are expecting high numbers in each location; Ashton-under-Lyne (February 17th); Bridport (February 25th); Cambridge (March 6th); Stockton-on-Tees (March 11th); and Newcastle-under-Lyme (March 27th).

In addition to these Roadshows the Association of London Markets has agreed to devote a large part of its Spring meeting to consideration of the issues raised by Mission for Markets, so there will be a further opportunity for Londoners to get involved.

LYLMYou will also be hearing about the help available to start-up Community Markets at the roadshows, and Guy Douglas from the Digital High Street will be holding a workshop in the afternoon to help you enhance your online skills.  This is a major theme of this year’s Love Your Local Market, as we are keen for operators and traders to optimise the potential of their online presence, so we hope that you will take advantage of this free resource.

For last years campaign we were joined by other countries for the first time, as they had heard how great the campaign is for reinvigorating and adding vitality to the culture of markets.  In October I was lucky enough to head over to Slovakia, to hear about the Central Markets Project that has been running for the last three years, and many of the summing up comments on issues facing the industry across the region, have been taken forward already by NABMA through Love Your Local Market.

This year the total of overseas involvement is set to rise, with a known total of 15 countries signing up so far……so lets continue to show them how to do it best here in the UK and lets get your markets registered for #LYLM2015.

Ellie Gill
Love Your Local Market Manager

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