3 August 2015 – can markets help save our town centres?

A new book by Julian Dobson – How to save our town centres – includes discussion on how traditional markets, as long-established local hubs, are the key to a successful future for UK high streets.  Dobson has written an interesting article (with photographs) that explains some of his thinking in the Guardian.

This features examples such as Queen’s Market in East London and it’s struggles against development by Newham Council and private developers – backed by the local community and the Friends of Queen’s market campaign. Interviews with long-standing traders on Bury Market, Lancashire where he brings out the theatrical skills of the market traders and the tension with local supermarkets. The article also provides a brief summary of developments in the UK over the past 7 or 8 years and gives some examples of where local communities have tried to fight back, such as Brixton Village – where early success has been countered by a wave of gentrification and rent price hikes by the private market operators. He concludes by saying there is a need to re-think traditional markets but also build on ‘old’ ideas of  ‘local benefit and commercial activity’ if we are to ‘rehumanise the concept of exchange’ and bring our town centres back to life.

You can read the full article here


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