Page 29 - MarketTimesApril2020
P. 29

MARKET TIMES • APRIL 2020 29 Shining a light on good practice
 By DAVID PRESTON, NABMA Chief Executive
  THE NABMA January Conference at the Council House, Birmingham is always an excellent start to a market year, bringing together the key stakeholders in our industry.
This year was arguably one of the most applauded as the conference programme looked at the future of the high street and the influence of markets. It also shone a light on the good practice and initiatives being found in markets across the UK and looked at traders of the future and, in particular, the exciting impact that young traders are having within market trading.
Few at our conference will forget the buzz in the room when the four finalists of the National Young Traders Market 2019, as featured on the BBC One Show, presented their stories of their business experience to date; the lessons they have learnt and their views and top tips on the future of markets and the
high street. What wonderful ambassadors they were for the NMTF and market trading. A huge thanks to Joe Harrison and the NMTF team for supporting our conference and providing a session that will be long remembered.
The conference also included the awards ceremony for the Blachere Illumination Great British Market Awards 2020.
It was a pleasure this year to welcome Chris Savage, the NMTF Projects Manager to the judging panel. The nominations highlighted the innovation and rich diversity of markets and special events that can be found around the UK that are built around a strong partnership between operator and traders.
Grainger Market was announced as Britain’s Favourite Market for 2020 but it was a pleasure to see awards going to markets, perhaps less well known, that are making a huge economic and community
impact for their residents and visitors alike. These are contributing significantly to the quality of life in their local town and city centre and, of course, the high street.
The high street has a vested interest for NMTF and NABMA members. It is well documented that the government has set up a Future High Streets Fund and the established a High Streets Task Force for a period of five years until June 2024. The main purpose of the High Streets Task Force is to support the development of effective place leadership and collaborative decision making, and action in towns and cities across England.
High streets, and the towns and cities they are located in, are undergoing significant changes. The successful centres are adapting, often by transforming into multifunctional community hubs. The High Street Report (2018) by Sir John Timpson and his expert panel demonstrated that this process of transformation is dependent on vision, collaboration and inspirational leadership.
The next stage of the evolution of our town and city centres, therefore, needs more effective partnership working across the many different interests on the high street. The challenge now is to identify and support our town centre champions and get behind local plans and visions to make change happen.
The NMTF and NABMA will both be involved in these discussions and it has been welcomed that both organisations are considered to be both leaders and drivers for change.
What is also encouraging alongside government investment in the high street is reading about some market operators now making their own major investment plans and commitments for their market. Some are stand alone projects but others are part of much wider and ambitious regeneration schemes. Hopefully some of the allocated
David Preston
Chris Savage
government funding for the high street will also be directed at markets as within the joint NMTF and NABMA markets manifesto we have set out the need for investment in some of the historic market buildings, that can perhaps help turn the clock back and generate start-up businesses and thereby help transform local retail.
It is encouraging that there is so much interest in the high street and our markets at present. We have seen already this year the awards ceremony for the Great British High Street sponsored by VISA and the announcement of Britain’s Favourite Market 2020; they were followed by the Great British Market Awards and we now look forward to Love Your Local Market 2020.
Add in the NMTF Young Traders Competition and the various platforms to promote markets in 2020 are considerable. The onus is therefore on everyone involved in markets to work together; to work to continue to professionalise our industry and to shout out loud and share and celebrate success.
I now look forward to attending the NMTF Conference at Blackpool later this month. It is an exciting programme and a chance for both learning and networking. Please come up and say hello.
  The four NMTF YTM 2019 finalists pictured from left to right: Wilmer Carcamo, Frankie Farrar, Nicky Mills and Okeima Scarlett
 Britain’s Favourite Market 2020 — Grainger Market, Newcastle

   27   28   29   30   31