Community Value

The NMTF is taking part in a research project that aims to understand, demonstrate and enhance the community value of traditional retail markets in the UK.


The community value of markets is something that NMTF members are aware of and immensely proud of.

But it is often taken to be tacit knowledge and is dismissed by many market operators and developers as unmeasurable.

To argue for investment, public operators often have to demonstrate the economic value of the markets they run.

This reduces markets to occupancy rates, rent levels and footfall. We recognise these are important statistics for investors and developers.

But only measuring the success or failure of traditional retail markets in this way ignores what makes markets matter to local communities.

This crucial research will enable the NMTF to champion the social and cultural value of markets with greater clout and credibility.

The Economic and Social Research Council has funded the research. It is led by Dr Sara Gonzalez from the School of Geography, University of Leeds.

Professor Sophie Watson from the Open University and the New Economics Foundation are involved, too.

The project starts in early 2018 and ends in 2021. For more information on this research project, click here.