Page 26 - MarketTimesOctober2019
P. 26

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YOUNG TRADERS MARKET NATIONAL FINAL
 This year’s Young Traders Market initiative began many months before its fantastic climax with an ambitious plan to expand the programme across the country.
A dedicated NMTF team focused on catching the public’s imagination, and a network of partners,fromlocalauthoritiestoa private market operator all played their part in forging a spectacular success.
The NMTF’s CEO Joe Harrison said: “We held our first national event in Manchester six years ago in partnership with the city council. We invited young traders from all over the country to sell their wares in Albert Square in the heart of the city and the judges picked a winner.
“The aim of the initiative is to tackle a key challenge facing the markets industry. We need to attract new young traders on to markets to keep our markets alive and thriving. Young traders will attract younger shoppers, and we all know how many successful entrepreneurs startedtheirempiresfromahumble market stall, so this can make a big contribution to the drive to nurture new businesses and entrepreneur- ship,” he said.
The young traders initiative has expanded each year and the NMTF relocated the final to Stratford- upon-Avon in 2018 because of its location at the heart of the country, the support of the district and town councils and the invaluable backing
and expertise of LSD Promotions, the private market operator based at Stourbridge which runs a string of markets across the Midlands including the general market and the upmarket Sunday market in Stratford.
Last year there were a number of youngtradermarketsheldinthe north and two regional finals in York and Manchester.
Joe explained that this year the NMTF had decided to take the initiative to the next level. “I can’t tell you how much hard work and effort has gone into making this year’s initiative such a success,” he said.
Meetings have been held with operators all over the country and many local authorities staged their
own young trader markets before the six regional finals held in Wells (South West), Newcastle upon Tyne (North East), York (Yorkshire and the Humber), Warrington (North West), Wolverhampton (Midlands), and Westminster (London and South East).
“The regional finals were incredibly successful and inspiring,” Joe said. The sun shone for all except Newcastle and Wolver- hampton, where rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm.
Common themes soon emerged, the main one being the sheer quality of the young entrants, their enthusiasm, creativity, hard work and imagination.
Another common thread across
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