Community Value

Markets 4 People

Traditional retail markets have played a significant role in the UK’s towns and cities for centuries but their central community role is being threatened by radical changes in retail trends and public sector cuts. 

Whilst there is increasing evidence about the economic value of markets, largely thanks to industry efforts, there is comparatively little evidence about the social and cultural value of markets.

There is, consequently, a risk that the holistic community value of markets may be ignored or damaged if it is not well documented, particularly in the process of remodeling and redeveloping markets.

As part of a 30-month project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, researchers from the University of Leeds and the Open University are working in partnership with NMTF and the New Economics Foundation to address this knowledge gap.

Together, the team will analyse the current situation of traditional retail markets, providing a robust evidence base upon which to evaluate their community value and suggest best practice.


The team will explore the following ways in which traditional retail markets create community value:

    Economic, as places that provide affordable food, products and services as well as creating opportunities for low cost business start-ups.

  • Social, as platforms for social mobility and the development of community ties and trust leading to better social inclusion.

  • Cultural, as spaces for experiencing a diversity of cultures and ethnicities and provide a sense of place for migrants, ethnic minorities and generally vulnerable citizens.


How can you get involved?

Whether you're a Trader, Operator, Campaigner, market user or Policy Maker, you can find more information about how to take part in the project on our website.

Please contact us if you would like to be involved or follow @markets4people on Twitter to see our latest updates.




Don't forget to keep in touch, we really appreciate your feedback and comments.


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