It all started in 2012 amidst growing alarm for the future of our nation’s High Streets when the idea of a National Market Day was proposed alongside the government’s High Street Review.
With markets held on so many days throughout the month however, many of our more specialist markets would have been left out, which was when Love Your Local Market fortnight was born …… and five years later we are still celebrating.
Markets have a long-standing place in the towns, cities and villages of the British Isles. They were the cornerstones of every major settlement throughout our history, with people bringing in goods to trade from surrounding settlements in order to feed themselves, but also the citizens of the conurbations they visited. Market day still holds a special place in the hearts of people from all walks of life, as a place to shop but also to socialise, meet up with acquaintances and catch up on some gossip.
Today’s markets are seeing something of a revival in fortunes. With shoppers wary of long supply chains, emphasised in the 2013 horse meat scandal, we are turning once more to our butchers, bakers and other more traditional outlets, tempted by the assurance of provenance in the goods we are buying, but also to see a friendly face and to support our local businesses. Love Your Local Market has been devised to herald the changes and to make shoppers aware of what is on offer on their doorstep.
Lead partners, The National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) bring nearly 100 years of experience to the campaign and are keen that this knowledge is shared with as many markets as possible. Also embracing the 21st Century the organisation runs Regional Meet Ups across the country in the lead in to the campaign each year, to give market organisers ideas towards their events, and to arm them with social media advice so they can reach a new generation of shoppers.