Portsmouth's "Have a Go" Markets

Love Your Local Market is a great opportunity to kickstart partnerships with local colleges and offer ‘have a go’ business initiatives with free pitches.  Rebecca Coghlan from Portsmouth City Council explains more.

“As part of the Love Your Local Market celebrations, I contacted local colleges and schools to see if there was any take up from students who had products 'ready to go' and who wanted experience of running a stall.  I am part of the City Development/Regeneration service and we are keen to support and encourage entrepreneurial behaviour. We see the markets as opportunities for small businesses to move out of their kitchen and reach more customers by having a market stall.

“We are lucky enough to have a few sites for markets all with a different appeal and different footfall which we can offer space in. There are markets that are run in- weekly and there are speciality markets that run each month. Our weekly market managers agreed to offer pitches free of charge to under 25's as did our markets operators that run the monthly speciality markets.

“We had take up from a secondary Academy, and two FE colleges.  The academy students have some art/design work that was ready for sale, handmade cards and other stationery items. The FE college students had clothing.

“Our experience was that the Academy students (aged 16) were much more organised possibly due to more teaching staff involvement in the activity."

Rebecca’s top tips

  • You need to plan for plenty of lead in time. This means the possible engagement with schools/colleges and an understanding of the need for planning activity around school year, terms dates and the start and end of the academic year.
  • Work with business studies departments to get the topic/activity included as part of the business studies curriculum and taking part in a market agreed prior to the event
  • Market days. It’s not always practical or possible to get staff and students on site on a Saturday.
  • Activity needs to be planned around other out of school activities Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme etc. There is an element of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme that includes enterprise, so it’s useful to get connected with those providers.
  • Provide decent pitches and don’t charge! Participants will need tables/pop ups and quite often have zero experience.  Some guidance from markets managers is part of the learning experience.
  • If food items are sold, they need to have been baked/made/prepped at school so that the food hygiene evidence is not an issue.
Click here to find out more about trading on markets in Portsmouth.

Contact the Markets Department at Portsmouth City Council on 023 9284 1982.

Contact Rebecca Coghlan, Economic Growth (Place and Markets) on 07904 436310 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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