Enfield Market, in North London, has been relaunched following an investment of just under £100,000 bringing new life to a market that was showing its age.
With a Charter dating back over 700 years it's no surprise that time and changes to the area were taking their toll and the market was beginning to look sparse and tatty - now all that has changed.
In place of the old, tired iron stalls that used to occupy the land on Enfield Market there now stands a market filled with gleaming white gazebos and, what had been a market running at around 45% occupancy, has now been filled with many traders - where before it was a struggle to fill the market there is now a waiting list. However, even with all the changes the market still retains businesses that have been running for decades.
The Market is run by the Old Enfield Charitable Trust, one of only three in the country run by such a body. They tasked a consultant, The Market Doctors, with the rejuvenation of the market and the result has exceeded their expectations.
At the heart of the new offer lies an 80 seater, all-weather food court surrounded by hot food stalls selling Jamaican, Chinese, Vietnamese, Mexican, French and Italian street food. Over the first three days of the newly launched market thousands of locals sat and ate, talked to neighbours and enjoyed the speeches, educational activities and a day of bands and performance for the first Enfield Music Festival held on the Market House, a bandstand in the centre of the market.
Outside the Food Court, stalls selling fresh fish, flowers, fruit and veg, meat and artisan breads were also groaning with speciality continental produce, wheels of cheese, cured meats, delightful patisserie and a new juice café.
Certain aspects of the market operations will remain the same - the market will still run three days a week however, the Trust also have plans to put on extra community events throughout the year and are encouraging traders to join the waiting list so that specialist products can be catered for, whether for a Christmas Market, Artisan Market or Farmers Market.
At the launch of the new market Chair of the Trustees, Sue Attwood said:
“It’s just unbelievable and very exciting. You sometimes don’t know what you’ve got until you regenerate it and the Trust are now in a strong position to continue supporting small, independent businesses as well as offering a more vibrant, exciting market, adapted to the needs and shopping habits of local people.”
One of the experts brought in by the Trust to revitalise the market is Steve Morris, a multi award-winning Market Manager, who has managed markets on behalf of Birmingham and Bristol City Council’s. He stated:
“The decline of markets is something we see all over the country and the Trust are to be commended in recognising that changes were needed and sticking to their commitment to deliver the market and make it fit for purpose in the 21st Century.
"Among changes already mentioned, the market place has been Wi-Fi enabled and we are working with a company called Droplet Pay and now have 20 traders signed up who are able to take payments through mobile phones and offer Enfield Market Rewards.
"We also hope to work closely with other businesses in the town to deliver a programme of events throughout the year that will make Enfield Town centre a place where people will want to spend time, catch up with friends and eat great food, as well as a place to shop.”
The official relaunch on October 1st 2015 was attended by Deputy Mayor of London, Roger Evans AM, who said in his speech he believed “Enfield Market is now one of the best markets in London”.
The following day saw almost 90 children from a local school come along to the first educational visit, part of a new programme and nominees for the Urban Food Awards, Forty Hall Farm, were on hand with local community arts group, Art Start, who helped them take part in apple pressing and creating foodie themed collages.
The Music Feastival on the Saturday saw North London Brass take to the Market House, followed by eight local bands and acts booked representing the vibrancy and diversity of Enfield.
For centuries, markets have been enlivening and adding vibrancy to the public spaces in our town and city centres though many have been suffering as a result of the pressures on retail from out of town shopping centres and the internet. The Old Enfield Charitable Trust have not only invested in their market to continue delivering benefit to local people but they have embraced modern technology and are inviting the community in to become the co-creators of this town centre space, ensuring it meets the needs of the modern consumer and is fit for purpose ahead of the 400 year celebrations of the Saturday market in 2017.
Want to speak to the Old Enfield Charitable Trust? Visit www.enfieldmarket.co.uk
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