It’s Love Your Local Market month again. Since 2012 a fortnight during May has been the focus of our year long campaign to promote markets and show their importance to local communities and this year we have allocated the 17th to 31st May.
LYLM was created and is run by NABMA and while we are grateful for the support that other organisations give to us without NABMA there would be no Love Your Local Market.
I want to deal with the future of Love Your Local Market at a later stage of this article but first of all let us celebrate what Love Your Local Market has achieved and what the next few weeks will feature.
Back in 2012 Government invited responses to the Mary Portas Report and NABMA was probably the first to respond with a proposal to celebrate the importance of markets and also to allow new start opportunities by offering stalls for a tenner or at significantly reduced rates. In this way Love Your Local Market was born and in the years that followed around 10,000 people tried market trading for the first time and we have seen the successful launch of around 1,500 new businesses.
In 2016 we remain committed to the same format but we have progressively integrated a significant youth element to our campaign to introduce children and young people to markets and also give them an opportunity to have a taste of market trading. This has been a great success with around eighty youth events recorded in 2015.
It is encouraging to see the work that is being undertaken with schools, colleges and universities which brings markets alive to a potential new generation of market customers and traders.
NABMA and NMTF will always have their differences but it has been a great step forward to see us working in partnership on Mission for Markets and now collaborating on Love Your Love Market Youth events and the National Youth Market to be held in Manchester on the 2nd and 3rd September.
The next month will see hundreds of markets again involved in Love Your Local Market with events of all shapes and sizes taking place in markets all over the country. It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and skill which is involved in celebrating Love Your Local Market.
Of course the delivery of Love Your Local Market cannot be undertaken without substantial resources and I must acknowledge the wonderful support we have enjoyed from government who have contributed over £100,000 since the campaign was launched in 2012. We also owe a significant debt to our NABMA sponsors who have helped in so many different ways.
Sadly at the end of May our funding runs out and, despite very strenuous efforts to attract new sponsorship, we have been unable to identify a new stream of financial support. This means that we have to consider how we deal with Love Your Local Market going forward.
Rest assured Love Your Local Market will continue but during our Regional Events we have been canvassing thoughts on how we should move forward. Hopefully as we celebrate Love Your Local Market 2016 we can also get some more comments and ideas.
NABMA will be considering the future of Love Your Local Market at the end of June. I would welcome any ideas and thoughts to assist in our decision making.
We will be looking at the Election of a new London May around the time this article is published. Hopefully whoever that person might be he/she will have made a commitment to support the creation of a London Markets Board.
Having agreed a draft constitution with officers of the GLA we have written to all Mayoral Candidates seeking their support for a London Markets Board. Watch this space for further developments.
May is also an important month because in the last week of May NABMA will be supporting a market in a Tribunal appeal on business rates liability. This case is likely to have widespread implications for markets and street trading as the Valuation Office seeks to widen the net of activities caught for business rates.
We have recently launched a new publication “supporting market operators” where we seek to illustrate the value of NABMA to market operators. If you want to find out what we can do for you please ask for a copy of the publication from the NABMA office at email@example.com.
Details of our Annual Conference have also now been launched. We are holding the Conference at Stratford Upon Avon from the 18th to 20th September.Using the theme of “Maximising Your Market Asset” we will be looking at a wide range of issues that will help your market and provide opportunities for networking and support. Go to to the NABMA website at www.nabma.com for all the information.
Next month I will update you on Love Your Local Market and our plans for the future.
GrahamWilson OBE, Chief Executive, NABMA