Cirencester Youth Market

Cirencester held its first Youth Market in March 2016.  It was made possible through collaboration and partnership working and developing relationships with the intention of continuing to support the next generation of entrepreneurs for years to come. Becky Coles, Community Services Manager at Cirencester Town Council shares their experiences.

“The initiative began in the spring of 2015 when Cirencester College's Innovation and Enterprise Manager approached the Town Councils Community Services Manager to work out ways to support young enterprise in the community.

“We jumped at the opportunity to work together as we had been looking to plan something but had found it hard to engage with the educational establishments due to syllabus commitments.  It’s a great way of working together for the benefits of the students and collectively creating a stronger awareness in the town of each party’s commitment to youth and young enterprise.

“A Youth Market was suggested, providing Young Enterprise students a platform to try out their enterprise ideas and have their first taste of retail. The initiative was expanded to include the other education establishments in Cirencester and soon the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and both secondary schools came on board. This coalition became the ‘E4 Group’ comprising of the four main educators in the town.

“Meetings were held, a project plan was produced, and timelines and responsibilities were laid out - the hashtag was identified at the first meeting! Prior to the kick off meeting in January, learning outcomes were identified and incorporated into the learning programme; making it as student centered as possible, giving them responsibility to promote, work through logistics, run the day etc.

“The relationship that developed has created the basis for a strong scheme, with each group bringing skills and ideas to the table that they could all learn from.

“The Town Council coordinated the operational logistics for the market whilst the students oversaw producing the marketing materials, finding a sponsor and coordinating stalls. A sponsor was found, Thirdline, who funded marketing products and banners and a bursary to the 'Best Dressed Stall' entitling the winner to a pitch at the Charter Market for 8 weeks.

“Suzie Lew, Markets & Events Officer, played a big part in preparing the young entrepreneurs for their time on the market speaking to students at the kick off meeting, identifying the main tasks and providing NMTF’s Operators Toolkit. Site meetings were organised to plan stall layout and discuss health and safety, placement of signage and power requirements. Merchandising information was shared and some of the current traders used as a case study to promote ideas and discussion.

“Unfortunately, the weather forecast was inclement, so a decision was made to reschedule the market.  Thankfully, a week later, the weather was better; the event was a fantastic success with good sales and an excellent reception from members of the public.

“Judging for 'Best Dressed Stall' was undertaken by Councillor Mark Harris, Mayor of Cirencester at the time, and Amar Mohammed from Thirdline using the 4 P's of marketing: Price, Product, Promotion and Place as the criteria.

“Cirencester Youth Market is now an annual event and goes from strength to strength. In 2018 the third Youth Market was held with the support of a new sponsor, Lumley Insurance and live music was provided by students studying performance arts.  The partnership continues to grow and consideration is currently being given to run a series of workshops, delivered by the experienced traders on Cirencester Charter Markets, to develop the students’ skills of running a business and engaging with the consumer.

Learning points identified over the three years include:

  • Centralising project management and empowering the students, including a project plan which the students can drive
  • More engagement with Youth Clubs and young entrepreneurs in the area for the next Youth Market
  • Support to young entrepreneurs in marketing, sales, interaction with the consumer
  • Capturing all young people within the identified age bracket for youth markets

 "In summary, we would recommend running this sort of event to other operators; it’s really rewarding! The community loves it and we need to do what we can to support our future generations. Any operator should work closely with their local college and connect with their young enterprise department - this is a great starting block and then you can build from there.”

Click here to find out more about trading on markets in Cirencester, which are run by Cotswolds Markets on behalf of Cirencester Town Council.

Contact Dave Joynes, Cotsolds Markets, on 01608 652662, 07920164640, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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