Great British Market Awards 2017

Great British Market Awards 2017

It was fantastic to head to the annual NABMA Conference to hear the winners of this years Great British Market Awards.


The One Day Conference is always the highlight to the start of my year.  At the end of each January, when the industry has just about recovered from the late nights and stresses of running Christmas Markets up and down the country, we all gather in Birmingham to celebrate the achievements of the past year.

We were kindly joined by Minister for Markets, Andrew Percy MP who handed out the awards and it was wonderful to be able to shout about the winner of the Best Love Your Local Market Event, having seen all the entries – though selecting the winner was once more an almost impossible task with such inspirational entries, many of which can be found in our Case Studies.

Best Love Your Local Market Event – Cambridge General & Sunday Market.

This is a Market that uses social media extensively with a Twitter account achieving over 49,000 impressions during the fortnight.  The Market promoted competitions, a Market selfie competition and a Market bag design event. Innovation could be found in abundance, including a classic car rally around the Market Square.  The community impact was significant involving local radio, local transport and local schools.

Best Large Indoor Market – Burnley Market Hall

The Award goes to a Market that was described by the judging panel as a phoenix rising from the ashes.  This is a large Market that had been in decline and now through endeavour, hard work and initiatives is climbing the ladder to its former glory.

Much has been done to drive change and the judges were impressed with the many initiatives that have been delivered with commitment and enthusiasm to reconnect the public, and the local community with its long and proud market tradition.  The Award is therefore particularly made for endeavour and for demonstrating the fact that large and iconic Markets of the past can be turned around into destinations of the present and the future.

Best Small Indoor Market – Tooting Market

This is a Market with many strengths and excellent community links.  It provides tremendous customer support and is a diverse Market that continues to grow and expand.  It provides many incentive schemes and it continues to adapt and change becoming a real destination, working very closely with its immediate retail core.

Best Large Outdoor Market – Loughborough Retail Markets

This is a Market with 125 traders that supports a diverse range of trading activities.  There is a strong green emphasis and it is a Market clearly well loved by all.  It is a traditional Market providing for its community but it is also an established destination shopping location.  The Market offers a proven record of supporting local entrepreneurship and business start-up.

Small Outdoor Market – Skipton Market

The Award is made to a Market that operates in a unique way with Traders requiring an agreement with the Market Authority and also the individual owners of the land on which the Market is sited.

These very difficult operational issues have been overcome and great flexibility has been provided to give easy business start-up opportunities.  The Markets Team, and Town Centre Ambassadors, provide tremendous advice and assistance to this Market and it enjoys excellent tourism links as a focal point of the town centre. The Market is innovative in terms of its use of social media and enjoys strong local partnerships within the town itself and within its county.

Best Large Community Market – Salisbury Charter Market

The Award goes to a traditional City Centre Market that enjoys extensive working with local tourism providers.  The Market recently benefited from a distribution of some 30,000 flyers far and wide. Various incentive schemes apply including rental opportunities to test Market trading without commitment.  An innovative Wholesale Scheme also exists.

Best Small Community/Parish Market – Forest Row Village Market 

This is an exciting small Market with strong occupancy, various loyalty and incentive schemes and it promotes itself extensively through social media.  There is a strong presentation of local food and wonderful examples provided of partnership working.  The Market Manager has a professional Markets qualification and is spreading that good practice to help and buddy other Market promoters within the district.

Best Large Speciality Market – Exeter Christmas Market

This Market presented the strongest all round package to the judges.  It faced huge challenges and threats with a major city centre fire before its 2016 event, having an option therefore of cancelling or moving the majority of the Market to another site within a very short period.  It has strong brand development, communications and social media and a predominance of local traders.  It also offers significant encouragement to support young entrepreneurship and business start-up.

Best Small Speciality Market – Bridgnorth Christmas Lighting Up Event

The Winner of this category links Markets, local food and craft promotion, a fun fair and an evening programme of entertainment crammed into its traditional high street.  It fully involves its local community, is provided on a very limited budget and has grown to become an event of county wide significance.  It is the highlight of the local winter calendar; it unites the community, provides a recipe of success that many can learn from and delivers an excellent event through a very strong partnership.

Best Wholesale Market – New Smithfield Wholesale Market, Manchester

The UK has great competition within its Wholesale sector.  The selected Market, despite an excellent extensive ongoing refurbishment programme, provides a very professional Wholesale Market that not only serves it immediate community and City but also the local region.  It presents many innovations that help fight poverty, meet social agendas and delivers various green and environmental benefits.

Best Food Market – Bolton Food and Drink Festival

We are blessed with many excellent food Markets in the UK.  The Market chosen has a wonderful visual appearance, a tremendous atmosphere, provides an extensive and quality of produce, offers great innovation and social media and a wonderful display to its many thousands of visitors.  This is really a Market with a buzz and a feast for the taste and senses for all foodies.

Best Market Attraction – St. George’s Market, Belfast

This is the significant NABMA Award and is given to an iconic long standing Market.  The Market is fully occupied, demands a presence within its City Centre and is even used by Film Companies.  It is a Market of variety and quality but also goes out on tour promoting the Market, its City and its traders.  It has a huge social media presence that is managed by the traders themselves and the Market offers an extensive annual calendar of events that promote the Market, local food and crafts and the City.

This is a Market for others to learn from, and aspire towards, and really is a benchmark for excellence in providing a destination Market.

Britain’s Favourite Market – Leeds Kirkgate Market

Over 100,000 votes were delivered in deciding the Winner of this category  following voting online over a 6 weeks period.  The Award is made to one of the largest indoor markets in Europe.  It is described as a shopper’s paradise for fresh food, drink and fashion to jewellery, flowers, hardware and haberdashery.  It has been at the heart of its City Centre retail core since 1857 with businesses spanning generations and representing a wide range of nationalities.  The Market boasts 170 traders and it has been the City’s essential shopping destination for over a century.