Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has established the capital’s first-ever London Markets Board to help ensure the market sector continues to flourish.
Made up of industry experts and co-chaired by New Covent Garden Market’s business development director Helen Evans, the board will advise Khan on a new a London markets strategy, and on action to support and promote the capital’s wholesale, street and covered markets.
Evans said: “Whether they are public or private, retail or wholesale, London’s markets contribute economically and socially to the wellbeing of the capital. But they also face challenges.
“That is why this new London Markets Board is so important. Its creation not only recognises the value of markets, often overlooked, it also faces up to the challenges and will recommend solutions.”
The news comes as the Mayor’s office also published a new report examining the social and economic value of markets in London. Entitled ‘Understanding London’s Markets’, the report makes 12 key recommendations on making markets work effectively, supporting local people, driving prosperity and improving the local areas in which they are based.
They include encouraging innovation in markets; supporting diversity across the markets sector; and strengthening opportunities to access healthy food.
The report also includes the first-ever interactive online map of London’s markets, allowing peiople to search for local markets and filter by functions such as market type and opening times. The map also includes a feature to allow users to submit information on markets to keep it updated over time.
Speaking at today’s first meeting of the London Markets Board, at Borough Market, co-chair and deputy mayor for planning, Jules Pipe, said: “The Mayor and I want Londoners and visitors to support markets across the city, not just the ones closest to home or where they’re staying while in the capital. That’s why we’ve launched this interactive map of London’s markets to open up the huge range of traders and businesses on offer.”
Khan said: “From the smallest groups of traders serving their neighbourhoods for generations, to those which attract millions of people each year from across London and around the world, London’s markets are a crucial part of our economy and our communities.”
Managing director of Borough Market, Darren Henaghan, said: “Markets have played a vital role in London’s social and economic life for centuries, and they continue to be hugely important to the fabric of the city. Right now, London is home to some of the most vibrant street markets in the world, but we can all do more to benefit the diverse communities that we serve.
“Thankfully, the communal nature of markets means that collaboration is something that comes naturally to us.”
The number of markets in London has grown from 162 in 2010, to 280 in 2017.