‘Love Your Local Market’ Goes Global

Alison Partridge

By Alison Partridge, on April 25th, 2014

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Do you ever shop at a market or visit them on holidays? Have you ever stopped to think about a market’s role in city life? The contribution it makes to the community and the economy? Whether it is successful?
Data from 2008 shows there are 25,000 retail markets in Europe (including open-air/street and covered markets) with more than 450,000 retail market traders and 1 million people earning their living from markets, generating a turnover of more than €40 billion. The benefits range from boosting employment, new SMEs and entrepreneurship, to helping urban regeneration and promoting culture and attracting tourism. Markets also contribute to community cohesion, playing a key role in integrating the elderly, immigrants and people at risk of exclusion.


Partners in the URBACT Markets project and 2 other EU funded projects have joined forces with the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) and the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) to launch an International Celebration of Markets.

love your local market
Based on the UK’s successful ‘Love your local market‘ initiative, this will be a celebration of the importance of markets to communities, town and cities in all senses: economics, social, sustainable and urban.It will promote the general profile and role of retail and wholesale markets, raise awareness of markets among citizens and their communities and provide a platform for new activities and initiatives locally. The festivities are also designed to put markets on political agendas in cities so that they are better integrated in urban planning strategies and investment budgets. Ultimately partner cities want to encourage the European Union to recognise the relevance of markets culturally, socially, economically and in terms of their environmental value.
So, on April 30th in the House of Commons, London, the international partners will come together to signa Memorandum, committing to running ‘Love Your Local Market’ in a number of countries in 2014, with more to follow next year. A wealth of events will follow during May – from cooking courses using local produce to open nights and market tours and concerts and even a ‘movies at the market’ event in Italy.


Establishing this annual international celebration was one of URBACT Markets’ original goals and at the recent meeting in Wroclaw, Poland, Núria Costa (Lead Partner of URBACT Markets) urged city partners to embrace it:

‘This is a fantastic opportunity for URBACT Market cities to come together and achieve something really special at European level. We hope that running lots of different events and activities in our markets under the same campaign umbrella will give a really European feel to the celebration’

If you’re keen to hear more and to find out what’s happening in your local market, have a look at www.loveyourlocalmarket.org.uk, www.wuwm.org and at URBACT Markets.
…and next time you visit a market, take a moment to think about what it contributes to city life and to ask yourself if you ‘love your local market’.



By Alison Partridge, URBACT Expert

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