The existence of local markets in the UK makes a real difference to our economy, our politics and our social cohesion. A 2015 report commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council and the National Association of British Market Authorities reveals the many ways in which local markets make a vital contribution to the UK economy.
Markets matter economically
Markets have a significant turnover, amplified by a multiplier effect:
- The total turnover of retail markets in the UK was found to be around £2.7 billion in 2012.
- With a multiplier calculated to be roughly 3x, this means that retail markets add ~£9 billion to the UK economy annually.
Markets have a positive impact on the town centres surrounding them:
- Markets generate footfall increases of around 25% in town centres.
- Markets increase retail sales – studies show that a significant proportion (55%-71%) of market visitors spend money in other shops.
- In London, this equates to over £750 million spent in shop-based retailers around markets.
Markets are great sources of new business and employment:
- Traditional retail markets directly employ around 32,000 market traders.
- Over 22,000 small & micro businesses operate in UK markets.
- Markets help make other industries viable (e.g. farms & small local retailers).
- Markets create entry-level employment & self-employment opportunities for all.
Markets are cornerstones of local economic growth:
- Markets promote commerce, competition & entrepreneurial activities.
- Markets provide universal access to affordable goods.
- Markets attract tourists & tourism-related spending.
- Markets make commerce adaptable & resilient to changing consumer & economics trends.
Markets matter socially
- Markets benefit disadvantaged communities.
- Markets animate & revitalise vacant & under-used spaces.
- Markets facilitate community social cohesion & inclusiveness.
- Markets are places of social interaction accessible to all demographics.
- Markets are crucial to preserving the distinct identity of an area.
Markets matter politically
- Markets promote sustainability.
- They offer food security and diversity .
- They promote community health & well-being.
- Markets foster innovation, experimentation and education.
- Markets engage people in local civic society.