Market Award Winners 2023 Announced at Annual Conference

Market Award Winners 2023 Announced at Annual Conference

At the NABMA Gala Awards Dinner held in Harrogate on 9 October 2023, the winners of NABMA Awards for 2023 were revealed. Our sincere thanks go again to Blachere Illumination UK for their generous sponsorship of the awards and their long standing support of NABMA.

We welcomed our special guest, Simon Baynes, the Member of Parliament for Clwyd South and our Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Markets Group. Simon is an amazing supporter of markets. As well as helping us to reform the APPMG, earlier this year he also promoted a 10 minute Bill calling on the government to revisit funding for markets and market trading. That exposure on the floor of the House of Commons led NABMA to meet the Levelling Up Minister and shape a new relationship with that Government department.

NABMA was overwhelmed by the number of entries demonstrating innovation, leadership and that passion for markets that makes our industry so special. Thank you to everyone that sent in nominations.

A huge congratulations from NABMA to all our award recipients. The gallery of award winners is at the end of the article.


NABMA has a tradition of recognising service to the markets industry and to NABMA. The following were awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards


Kate Gittins is the well-known and popular market manager at the multiple award-winning Shrewsbury Market who retires this month with her market basking in the praise of being Britian’s Favourite Market 2023. Through her leadership, enthusiasm and passion Kate has transformed this market after ownership changes and local government reorganisation to become a destination hub in this Shropshire County Town. The journey has been challenging with the market sited on two levels, with dual ownership and management and in a 1960’s building of architectural interest. Kate has respected market history and tradition but looked to the future and promoted the wider value of markets demonstrating leadership, a willingness to embrace change and continually seeking to evolve and provide exciting business and start up opportunities. Kate is the face of Shrewsbury Market. She has built relationships and trust with high street partners and traders and delivered an outstanding market that is a county and national leader.


Ian Harrison is the highly respected and long serving Market Manager at Newark Royal Market for over 20 years. He is well known throughout the industry, particularly in the local council sector. He is a long standing supporter of NABMA and has been a great ambassador for Newark Town Council.

Ian manages at one of the most attractive marketplaces in the UK and has taken advantage to promote wonderful traditional markets and quality and special seasonal markets.

He has worked tirelessly in Newark throughout his career, particularly leading and supporting both the market and its traders during and coming out of the pandemic.

This year has been extremely tough on him as he has been extremely ill with cancer, but he has overcome this, and even continued to work from home whilst receiving treatment. Ian has now decided to retire and is doing this via a phased planned retirement.

Newark and NABMA will miss his great wealth of knowledge, humour, and expertise. We believe this is a fitting tribute to Ian and we wish him a long, happy, and healthy retirement from a job well done.


The third award is to a person who has done so much for the markets industry. That person is Nick Rhodes, now the Chief Executive of Market Place.

Markets have and continue to be first and foremost in the career of Nick. Starting out as a market officer, then the manager of the famous Leicester Market and now Nick is working in the private sector delivering special events and consultancy and using his many talents and experience to help and support markets and market teams across the UK. We are grateful that he continues to support NABMA and work in partnership with us on many projects.

Nick has given much to the professional development of market officers and contributed at the highest level with government and high street partners. A former President of the Institute of Market Officer, a trainer and now a tutor on the NABMA DMA course. Importantly, Nick produced the first assessment report of the health of UK markets in 2005.  The Rhodes report, as it become known was a response to a government inquiry challenging if traditional markets could survive. That report remains as a benchmark for the industry. 


The winners!

LARGE MARKET MANAGERShaun Johnson of Borough Market

The award is presented to a manager at a world-renowned food market with a footfall of over 28 million customers each year. The scale and volume of trade makes for a most difficult and operationally complex market to manage day to day, particularly with events and seasonal trends.

This Manager is described as highly pragmatic, meticulous and an amazing connector between the various teams and many partners that contribute to the success of this iconic market.  After a substantial period of change, the pandemic and then governance and structure reviews, this manager has devised, built, and implemented various new systems and provided extensive training to his teams alongside personal development plans. He is regarded as a relationship expert who is fair, logical in his approach, considered in decision making and to whom the human approach is very important.

In such a busy and challenging role our recipient is recognised as a natural diplomat, a highly systematic and meticulous operator and above all a lynch pin for the success of Borough Market.

SMALL MARKET MANAGERPauline Rider of Chelmsford Market

The nomination for this award confirmed that this manager epitomises what markets need to thrive in terms of leadership, operations, and diversification backed up with hard work and dedication to traders. This manager has transformed the local market portfolio working tirelessly to attract a diverse mix of traders, meaning the city now boasts a full market hall and High Street market, with a mix of traders to suit the ever-changing culturally diverse population of the city.

Additionally, the market has opened up to local charities, groups, and events, providing opportunities for them to thrive. Most notably, this manager has worked with a local charity to facilitate young adults with special educational needs to gain work experience. This has helped participants develop key work based and social skills that will change their lives forever.

WHOLESALE MARKET MANAGERBen Milligan, Markets Director for the City of London Corporation

This award is made to a manager with a long and distinguished operational and strategic career working in markets. Always recognised as being at the forefront of delivering the highest standards of food safety and product integrity this career has evolved, with now the considerable challenge of moving three iconic London markets from their current locations to a co-located site.

The three wholesale markets each have their own Act of Parliament that dictates where they operate from, thereby offering an even greater challenge to overcome for this Manager to get the tenants to buy into the vision of a new co-located site, and then support a new Bill submitted to Parliament.

This manager is now working on the design of the new co-located market and ensuring the new facility adds social value to the local area. It involves working with the local authorities of where the existing sites are based to develop a positive legacy, whilst simultaneously maintaining three incredibly busy, world-renowned wholesale markets.

LARGE MARKET TEAM OF THE YEARLeeds Kirkgate Market Events Team

This award reflects on the markets and events team at one of Europe’s largest undercover markets. With just 13 staff they deliver an all-year-round programme of in-house promotions that attract thousands of visitors to this market and its city centre location. The portfolio continues to increase as they rebuild post pandemic and strive to recover footfall. The team has a ‘can do’ attitude with new events, celebrity visits, pop up promotions and even the staging of a Royal Visit.

Great pride is taken in providing free events for children with a six-week summer school holiday activity programme. School market visits are also popular with traders willingly supporting promotions, particularly around food.   Similarly, free events are arranged for older members of the community linking up with local support organisations and charities. The team pride themselves on making sure all activities are accessible and have worked with Scope to receive recognition that child friendly events and activities are fully accessible.

As a result of the passion and efforts of this dedicated team then the local community and visitors receive considerable benefits, and the profile of the Market and the city itself are significantly raised.


This market team works with and is at the heart of the local community. It has brought local organisations, health providers and charities into the market making it a central hub for information and advice. It is also a welcoming and sharing space, with extensive food and drink offers, encouraging users to sit a while and increase dwell time.   

It has extended the scope of its market activities, particularly with its offer of access to health service providers and local consultations.  Importantly it has woven the market to become a recognised and important community asset in the life of the town, seamlessly bringing together traders, businesses, organisations, residents and visitors. The growing recognition of the importance of the market has required this council to expand the marketplace making it more versatile to accommodate events and business start-ups. It is also used extensively as an entertainment space to promote local talent and culture.


This award recognises a team with a diversification of skills, experience and perspectives in showcasing the culture and heritage of their market. It is adept to change and delivering it with onsite waste management and recycling projects as examples. It demonstrates many collaborative partnerships that have extended beyond internal operations to forging strong partnerships with key stakeholders, including suppliers, clients, and industry influencers,

It has adapted an innovative partnership with ‘City Harvest’ in a move set to provide thousands of meals for those affected by food poverty, to cut waste disposal costs for tenants, and also provide considerable environmental benefits.

This award was described as a testament to their exceptional collaboration, tireless dedication, and unwavering commitment to excellence. The team’s remarkable ability to infuse innovation into tradition has not only enriched the market but also established best practices for all markets to learn from.


This small market team, managing and operating a large market operation, embraces hard work as their guiding principle. Their comprehensive involvement spans the entire spectrum of market operations, encompassing management of outdoor general markets for six days every week, alongside maintaining an active social media presence on various platforms. They arrange a programme of many additional market events, foster various stakeholder partnerships, and take a pivotal role in driving town centre regeneration initiatives.

Importantly, their dedication and diligence has seen the market go against the current industry trends with impressive increases in stall occupancy, trader numbers and young traders. Their Taster Friday market initiative alone has proven highly effective in welcoming new traders to their market family.

In the landscape of market management, this market team stands apart as an exemplar of success and achievement.


This award is presented to a market hall and operator that continues to make improvements, investment and enjoys full occupancy. It has carried out infrastructure improvements, increased its food offer and is rolling out a new design scheme that includes market murals. It has recently carried out a consultation on the future of the market, looking at how it can increase footfall and attract new traders.

The operator has a carbon neutral target, delivered a comprehensive recycling scheme and introduced solar panels to the market roof as part of its environmental agenda. It works extensively with partners to create events and promote its markets.  This includes working with a community group to champion reducing food wastage and to support the local Food Bank. It has also set up a ‘Chatty Chair’ and a ‘Community Lounge’ working with local mental health groups. A full portfolio of events takes place to supplement traditional markets that include help, information and NHS services.


The Award for Young Market Champion of the Year is shared in 2023

Our first award is presented to Julie Gimeno of Manchester Markets who started a market career in 2017. Determination and commitment witnessed fast career progression from an Assistant Manager to an Area Manager. In the history of the markets department then this person is the youngest to attain such recognition.

The nomination refers to the positive impact made to the team; the significant changes as made to the service including increasing income generation, setting up and running successful community events and attracting more traders. This individual’s positivity and drive are described as being infectious and have inspired and encouraged the people she works closely with, to look at how they contribute, and what they can also do to make a difference to the service.

This recipient is described as an asset with a total commitment to the core values of both the market and her council employer that will undoubtedly lead to an exciting future ahead.

Our second award is to an Assistant Market Manager, Robert Ord of Darlington Market, recognised for bringing exceptional benefits to his local market and community.

With a hospitality background this young market champion has been described as bringing new life, perspective, ideas and vision to the industry. He has established good relationships with both local independent traders, and the established market traders. His hard work and dedication have helped to grow the local Artisan Market to over 25 traders, which is a testament to his leadership and vision. He continues to promote and grow several other specialist market events hosted by his employer.

The individual’s commitment to the community has not gone unnoticed. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the market remains a vibrant, clean, and inclusive space that welcomes everyone. His innovative ideas and willingness to listen have helped to create an environment where everyone feels valued and included.

NABMA INDUSTRY AWARD 2023New Chester Market

This is a special award as the judging panel considered that in each category one markets service stood out in terms of management, achievement, investment, and innovation.

NABMA has closely followed the planning and the journey of a historic and loved city centre market, steeped in history, to a vibrant and exciting new facility. The planning, build and transition were complex involving extensive consultation events to inform a new market vision and manifesto. The highest standards were set for traders, event organisers and staff to deliver the best market possible. The vision driving the new market was to be a ‘modern traditional market’ with sustainability, creativity, and inclusivity.

Since November 2022 over a million visitors have experienced this new market that is at the heart of its city. Its brand has been designed to be distinctive, memorable, and exuberant; inspired by local heritage. This market sets the highest standards for the city and the markets industry itself. It has a committed and professional markets team seeking to deliver the very best outcomes and successes.

The work has not stopped with other exciting investment planned by this local authority for other local markets.



In 2006 Oswestry Town Council were awarded a service level agreement by NABMA to provide administrative and financial services. As the Council’s Finance Officer then Roger Dyke became the NABMA Finance Manager and after 17 years of loyal and outstanding service sadly Roger will retire later this month.

Roger has provided professional support and advice of the highest quality throughout the many years of his association with NABMA. His performance information, dealing with various bookings for events and conferences and, of course, chasing outstanding invoices have contributed to our sound financial management and annual praise from both auditors and accountants. Both Graham Wilson, and now I as Chief Executives, could not have asked for any better support and loyalty.

Roger is a special individual. He thrives on delivering quality and timely information and never looks for praise. Late at night, or in the early hours’ emails can be found from Roger providing up to the minute information and budget projections.

Roger always prefers a life out of the spotlight but tonight NABMA would like to say a very public thank you for his loyalty, professionalism, and support to NABMA and its widest membership.

Roger is accompanied tonight by his partner Carmen and I know they are looking forward to a retirement shared between Spain and the UK. Roger, we will all miss you, but we wish you a long, happy and healthy retirement together with Carmen and NABMA would like to present you with a Special Achievement Award as a token of our appreciation for your wonderful years of support to NABMA.


The second award is to Keith Payne, the Market Director at Errol Sunday Market. And what a story this is.

Keith has given a lifetime of service to markets, for many years with Spook Erection, and now with Errol Market that has developed a modest car boot into Scotland’s largest indoor market and car boot destination in both size and attendance.

Keith puts much of his success down to management principles of togetherness, communication and sharing success and having a team sense of pride. Being an agony aunt also helps.

Sadly, there is more to Keith’s story than just 50 years of markets. Keith is the face of his market charity – “The Big C and Me”. In March this year, Keith took the brave decision to share his battle with three forms of terminal cancer to raise awareness and fundraise for Prostate Cancer UK; Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK. He has jumped out of aeroplanes and even turned poacher by arranging his own car boot sale. So far, he has raised £30,000.

Despite ill health Keith rarely misses a market and is regarded by his team and traders as a true market champion. In a recent press interview he said he would like to achieve a golden 50-year continuous service to this incredible and wonderful industry.

Well, that goal has been reached and NABMA is proud to share that celebration tonight and present a special achievement award to a brave, inspirational, and true market champion and say thank you to Keith Payne for sharing your story to help others.

KRYS ZASADA AWARD 2023Wendy Hobday

This is the highest award that NABMA makes each year. We are grateful to Manchester City Council for their ongoing support and endorsement of this award.

Krys Zasada sadly died at the young age of just 59 back in 2014. At the time he was the NABMA Policy and Development Officer. He had been a long time Director of Markets at Manchester and then a consultant working extensively with wholesale markets.

Without doubt Krys Zasada was a visionary and one of the best ambassadors that our industry has ever had.

Since 2014 this important award has been presented to politicians, civil servants and long serving market people. Tonight, the award in his memory is given to a person who has spent a career in the markets industry and who is recognised by their peers as a pathfinder for NABMA, private markets and women.

The story starts in the sixties with a journey that included St Albans, Petticoat Lane and Wembley Stadium. At its peak it involved managing 30 markets a week over 15 different sites. The company was Wendy Market Fairs managed by Wendy Hobday.

Wendy has been a visionary for markets and their management, and for women in markets. From starting out as a trader with her husband Ken she became disillusioned with how certain markets were being run. Instigating a Christmas London Dinner Dance with invites to leading private operators she established APMO (the Association of Private Market Operators). In time, on her suggestion, she approached NABMA to see if there was any way that APMO could amalgamate or be absorbed into NABMA. Wendy’s view was that it was not vitally important who owned markets, but they should have support, information and training to create more professional markets and management. These negotiations came to fruition and APMO became part of NABMA in 2007, to give the market industry one voice and a strong and supportive connection.

Wendy has continued to play a leading role in NABMA being a true champion and visionary in uniting private and local authority markets. For many years she was a member of the former NABMA Management Committee supporting the change to Limited Company status. Wendy has been a loyal stalwart at all NABMA events and conferences over many years and always recognisable by her passion for her trademark hats.

Wendy is a proud family leader with 7 children, all of whom have worked in the markets industry and now 19 grandchildren & 6 great grandchildren.

NABMA is proud to recognise the many influences that Wendy has delivered in the markets industry for over 50 plus years from trader beginnings, being a successful and exemplary operator, leading the way for women in markets and, maybe most importantly, as a pathfinder in uniting public and private sectors, bringing change and supporting the wider markets industry.

The Chief Executive of NABMA, David Preston, said:

“The NABMA Awards are a celebration of the best and brightest in the market business. They recognise the outstanding contributions of our members, and they inspire us all to continue to strive for excellence.

“This year’s winners are a shining example of the dedication and innovation that is on display throughout our industry. They are pushing the boundaries of what is possible, and they are making a real difference in the lives of their customers, employees & traders.

“I am proud to be a part of such a vibrant and dynamic industry, and I am excited to see what the future holds for NABMA and its members.”

We welcome news stories, job vacancies and tender opportunities from our members for publication. If your market has some news to share, please email

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