Exploring Thailand’s markets.

Markets in Thailand offer a bustling cultural experience. With their vibrant, carnival like atmosphere, the markets offer a huge array of goods to browse and in many cases meeting both local and tourist needs with a mix of everyday produce, handmade goods, arts and crafts and street food alongside mass market cheap goods as well as providing a social space. There were few supermarkets in the local areas and with a market culture, it did appear to be the case that people’s shopping patterns take them to markets rather than supermarkets for a ‘big shop’ (but I wasn’t there long enough for this to be a fact!). I was lucky enough to visit many of the markets taking place in [...]

2019-06-17T11:57:19+01:00June 16th, 2019|Markets|

Creating a three year strategy for Westminster’s street markets via public consultation

This project involved oversight of a 13-week public consultation, working with the council’s Insight Team to devise a trader and customer survey, run drop-in sessions and use the response data to produce a three year strategy that recommended a way forward for all five of the council’s markets. Action plans were produced for one of London’s oldest markets on Berwick Street (Soho), the second biggest daily street market on Church Street and markets on Tachbrook Street (Pimlico), Strutton Ground (Victoria) and Maida Hill (Harrow Road). The plans were developed following extensive consultation and were in the context of developments already underway in the form of master/place plans and neighbourhood plans. Brief To: Develop a street markets strategy to include a [...]

2019-06-04T22:24:35+01:00June 13th, 2019|Business support, High Streets, Marketing, Markets, Place marketing|

Creating and managing a place marketing programme

The traders’ and residents’ association for Chatsworth Road in Hackney, east London was founded in 2009, when a group of shop owners (most of whom were also residents) got together to see what could be done to offset the decline of the local high street. The decline had led to shops closing, and a number of premises lying empty which affected community morale and reduced footfall. Over several years we were actively involved with the changes in the street from launching a street market to working with the council on a number of initiatives. We also developed and managed the place marketing programme for the neighbourhood. In recent years Chatsworth Road has experienced a great deal of change and continues [...]

2019-06-04T22:23:14+01:00June 5th, 2019|High Streets, Marketing, Markets, Place marketing|

High Street losses – It’s not just about shop closures…what about the services being lost?

While we read daily about shops closing down and major retailers going into administration, there isn’t the same coverage on the services and amenities disappearing from our town centres. On a recent trip to see family, I went to the town I grew up in. At first glance, it seemed a bit ‘frozen in time’. However, looking closer (and needing cash) I looked around for a cash machine/bank in all the places I remembered them being. Everywhere I looked they’d gone…Barclays Bank lay empty, NatWest was a pizzeria, Cheshire Building Society, a solicitors, TSB, a restaurant, HSBC and a pizza takeaway/delivery outlet. I eventually found a cash point tucked away round the side of a Tesco. A quick look online [...]

2019-06-03T16:23:55+01:00May 18th, 2019|Business support, High Streets|

Manchester’s model to increase city centre living, fast.

Whether you know Manchester or not, this is worth a listen - BBC Radio 4 - Manhattan-chester. 20 years ago (around the time I left Manchester…) few people lived in the city centre (Castlefield was about the nearest) yet now the number of residents is expected to reach 100,000 by 2025. The programme takes a look at this rapid growth, mainly since 2011 and the challenges it may pose. The scale of development (each time I visit) is staggering which is backed up by the referenced crane survey citing nine towers of 25 stories or more that simply didn’t exist three years ago. It also raises many questions about how we reshape and increase residential developments in our city and town [...]

2019-06-06T20:57:46+01:00May 2nd, 2019|Development, Places|

The Stronger Town Fund launches in the UK.

The government has launched a UK fund in an attempt to boost struggling towns. The £1.6bn ‘Stronger Towns Fund’ is due to be allocated using a needs-based formula, which communities can bid for. It has been speculated that more than half of the money is to be spread across towns in the North of England and in the Midlands over seven years Although the funding will provide a well-deserved cash injection into many towns, the funding has caused some concerns. One concern is that the bidding for funding encourages competition between places. This sadly contradicts the work underway via the regional mayor models (i.e.-Manchester & Liverpool) that are encouraged to work together collaboratively. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland seem an [...]

2019-06-04T09:44:26+01:00April 11th, 2019|Business support, High Streets, Marketing, Markets|

Can Mike Ashley save the high street?

Mike Ashley, CEO of Sports Direct has been making headlines recently, with his recent purchases and bids or interest in for high street retail stores: House of Fraser, Debenhams and LK Bennett. But as high street stores continue to struggle, can Mike Ashley really save the high street? A few weeks ago, I put this question out to my network of contacts on LinkedIn, that include town centre managers, council officials, regeneration managers and retail teams to discuss if Ashley’s strategy was supportive of the high street or if it was causing further issues? My question was met with varied responses. To date, we’ve not seen any strategy plans or declarations of Ashley’s retail intentions other than to take House [...]

2019-06-03T16:27:06+01:00March 24th, 2019|High Streets|

Creating routes to employment via markets

Trading Post is a market trading programme that provides support and a pop-up market stall for new businesses in Redbridge to test their idea or sell their product. A new initiative from Work Redbridge, Vision RCL and Ilford BID, the programme was trialled in December 2016. With some adjustments to the programme, 2017 continued as a test opportunity and the scheme is now fully rolled out in conjunction with Amber Markets (a market operator in Ilford). The Trading Post start-up market takes place monthly. Brief Support routes into employment across the borough with a live trading opportunity at Ilford market Encourage first time traders (primarily) into Ilford market and wider trading opportunities (secondly) Add new commodities into the existing market [...]

2019-04-10T17:40:36+01:00February 3rd, 2019|Business support, Markets, Start-ups|

Building a marketing programme to increase footfall

Garstang is an historic market town located between Lancaster and Preston in Lancashire. The town has a strong sense of community and is relatively affluent. A well populated high street (150+ units) and a weekly market bring a high number of visitors, but at other times it can be quiet. There is a strong visitor economy with tourists visiting from nearby caravan parks along with keen cyclists, walkers and boaters with a canal and river nearby. Brief To market Garstang more effectively to: Increase footfall Support the visitor economy, building on the existing event-led programme Diversify the town’s offer (to visitors) Increase the appeal and awareness of the town to local people and visitors Increase the appeal of the town [...]

2019-04-10T17:41:31+01:00November 28th, 2018|High Streets, Marketing, Markets|