Page 32 - MarketTimesFebruary2013
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Market Times • February 2013
boosted by major bank
   FIRST PITCH, the National Market Traders Federation’s pioneering nationwide competition to encourage young people to be part of the industry has been awarded £50,000 by the RBS Group.
First run in 2011 with a limited budget, it was open to everyone in the UK and received 150 applicants. From these, more than 80 were invited to test trade for up to two weeks. Judges then chose 35 to trade on a market for 12 months, leading to a cash prize of £2,000 for the winner.
The quality of the final candidates was high and a third are still trading on markets today.
The NMTF has been awarded the £50,000 from the RBS Group’s Inspiring Youth Enterprise programme to expand First Pitch for 2013.
Commenting on the win, Joe Harrison, Chief Executive of the NMTF, said: “It’s great that RBS see the value of supporting First Pitch. RBS want to encourage young people to start up in
business, NMTF want to get more young blood onto the nation’s markets — First Pitch has proven it can do this.
“The extra funds will pay for a marketing campaign to reach more young people aged 18 to 30 and strengthen the mentoring available to candidates. This will open up the competition to more budding young entrepreneurs who, with NMTF support, will be able to launch a business on the market.”
With this boost to the coffers by RBS, the NMTF aims to triple the number of candidates enabled to trade for one year and reduce the drop-out rate of candidates from 66 per cent to 20 per cent.
Explaining this, Joe added: “Last year, clearly we didn’t have the funding available to mentor candidates to an adequate standard.
This year, we’ll put more feet on the ground — mentors won’t be spread so thinly and they will be able to give the extra support that young people need to get their business up and running.”
NMTF aims to have First Pitch candidates test trading during the Love Your Local Market campaign, a celebration of entrepreneurship on markets taking place all over the UK for two weeks from May 15.
Again there will be a £2,000 cash prize for the winner.
If you know of a budding entrepreneur with a great idea who would like to take part in First Pitch, please encourage him or her to email, giving an outline of their plans, circumstances, location and where ideally they would like to trade.
  Bringing new jobs to the market in North Wales
A COMMUNITY effort to help the jobless back to work by developing markets in a deprived part of North Wales has snowballed, with Flintshire Council among those backing the initiative.
Ray Worsnop started the ball rolling in 2010 when he became chairman of the Regeneration Committee of Rhyl, which has very high unemployment. The committee had the idea of launching a community market to revive the town.
Ray started the market from scratch and set up a not-for-profit community enterprise company, The Community Events and Marketing Company, with co-directors Geoff Bainbridge and Glynn Donaldson, to develop the initiative.
The market was such a success that the local council decided to take over its running, a move which led Ray to contact Market Times, and we ran a story headlined “They’ve nicked our market!’
Since then Ray and his co-directors have developed their campaign to help jobless people and boost the local markets industry — with the help of Flintshire Council and Jobcentre Plus.
They have now started a new market in Corwen and are in the process of setting up another in Llandudno. They also run training courses for jobless people interested in market trading and for market managers.
Ray said: “Our aim is to help the large numbers of jobless people in this deprived part of North Wales and to help regenerate the area. After the council took over Rhyl market we began applying for grants to enable us to run courses to introduce new recruits to market trading.”
The team was then approached by Flintshire Council, which runs four markets in Mold, Flint, Holywell and Connahs Quay.
Ray said: “Flintshire now tells us when they want the course to run. I then work with, and in
the local Jobcentre Plus office and get candidates for our ‘Introduction to Market Trading course’ which runs over five days.”
The initiative has been so successful that Ray’s co-director, Glynn Donaldson, now helps the council run its markets. The company also offers a service to other counties to run their markets to cover for holidays and sickness. Ray said: “We are the only company in the country that offers this kind of service. We wrote the training manual. We have written a market rule book for councils and market traders. And we are now in the process of writing a training manual to train market managers.”
Their most recent success was the launch of a new Sunday market at Corwen following a request from Corwen Tourism and Leisure. The aim is to provide an attraction for people who travel on the steam railway, which has recently been extended to the town.
 Vibrant new indoor city centre retail market
SHEFFIELD’s new indoor market is rising majestically out of the building site on The Moor in Sheffield and should be ready for opening by November 4.
This brand new facility will replace the ageing and run down 1950s Castle Market in a totally new part of the city, about a mile from its traditional home of the last 700 years.
It will have 195 stalls, including 12 new places to eat surrounding an extensive seating area. The new market will major on food with around 60 per cent of the stalls designated for that purpose, but operator Sheffield City Council also hopes to have a wide range of quality non-food items, both traditional and new.
With 12 months to go the council has already received over 200 expressions of interest in taking space
and that does not include the 112 businesses from the current Castle Market, the majority of whom will be accommodated in the new facility.
The market is double height inside and will have the benefit of lots of natural light through the partial glass roof, as well as being fully heated and cooled and having a fantastic feature entrance from The Moor precinct itself, as well as other essentials such as free wifi, a demonstration kitchen, wheeled shopping baskets, a central customer services facility and wide aisles, giving excellent sight lines between the stalls — and all presented on one single floor.
As well as the main pedestrian entrance from The Moor precinct itself the new market is also well served by a 650 space shoppers’ car park within a few metres as well as a third entrance having several adjacent bus
stops and a nearby taxi rank.
Sharing the site will be eight completely new retail
units which are in the process of being let and the market is also very close to other key retailers such as Atkinson’s Department Store, Sainsbury’s, T.J. Hughes and Debenhams, together making this part of Sheffield a future must for shoppers.
This £18 million pound investment by Sheffield City Council will be state of the art and put right all that is wrong with the current council market in Castlegate. If you want to be part of this new start as a trader then an application pack can be either downloaded from our website at or you can be sent a hard copy by applying via email to or by phoning the Market Services Lettings Officer on 0114 2735281.

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