Close to your Heart was the global theme for this year’s Love Your Local Market campaign (17-31 May) and romance was in the air as the start of the fortnight coincided with the build up to the internationally televised, royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. This provided inspiration for lots of creative Love Your Local Market events and promotions in markets across the UK such as street party events in Harbour Market Seaham (Durham), Workington Market and Scarborough Market, complete with crowns, tiaras and flag waving.
On Thursday 17 May, Market Place Europe’s Rob Nixon welcomed NABMA President Cllr Chris Rosling-Josephs to Stockport Market in a topical PR stunt involving Meghan Markle and Prince Harry look-alikes. Warrington‘s Sarah Mhlanga and Henry Morley from York, posed as the royal couple surprising shoppers and traders alike and attracting BBC and ITV television, radio and online coverage.
The look-alikes also visited Blackburn Market for a photo opportunity with shoppers and traders. At Warrington Market, there was a photocall with the actress getting ready for the wedding, shopping for something old, something new, something borrowed and having a tattoo.
On the same day, President Elect, Cllr Geraldine Carter was piped into The Forge Market in Glasgow for a Scottish Love Your Local Market launch arranged by Groupe Geraud.
Here are just a few examples of the creative and inspiring events over the Love Your Local Market fortnight! Keswick Market staged a Superhero Day whilst Norwich Market went with an Alice in Wonderland theme to engage with families. Many markets such as Ludlow, Oswestry, Newhall in South Derbyshire, Dundas Youth Market and Bury St Edmunds used the campaign to reach out to younger customers, schools and created youth trader opportunities. In Morpeth, school children revealed a banner created using images of local stall holders. A market loyalty card scheme was launched in Ipswich whilst Skelmersdale and Sheffield markets ran voucher raffles. Freeman Street Market, Grimsby organised a Circus themed day. Once again, Aylesbury and Ormskirk markets ran imaginative social media campaigns with great use of photography and LYLM branding.
High Street Minister, MP Jake Berry visited Todmorden Market on Friday 18th May to lend support to the fortnight campaign highlighting the importance of markets in the economic regeneration of high streets, towns and cities.
During his visit to Todmorden, the Minister was met by President Elect, Cllr Geraldine Carter and NMTF Chief Executive, Joe Harrison as well as long-established traders including Adam Wolstenholme of Exchange Coffee who has worked in the market since he was 15. The company began in Todmorden Market and has grown to have coffee houses across the North and a successful wholesale business supplying to the catering trade, hotels and restaurants across the UK.
How was it for you? Whether you took part in Love Your Local Market or not – we’re keen to hear your feedback and ideas for how we can make the annual campaign better and support markets collectively to deliver amazing events and initiatives. Please complete the survey below.