This month is the eighth anniversary of Uplands Market, so we thought we’d share some interesting facts about the thriving street market:
1. Uplands Market is a social enterprise
This means that it is not driven by profit. Rather, it is motivated by a desire to make positive social change. It is managed by Urban Foundry who also happen to be a certified BCorp (in a nutshell this means they use business as a force for good).
2. It’s created jobs
Three amazing Swansea residents have been hired part-time to book traders, respond to enquiries, and, most importantly, ensure that market day runs smoothly (there’s a lot to do!).
3. We’ve reduced the number of cars (for one morning a month anyway!)
Uplands Market is about more than just the buzz and the food; we were guided by urban regeneration concepts. We wanted to transform a car dominated space into a people space (with music, food, and crafts). We’ve been recognised for this; Project for Public Places cite creation of public squares and street markets as numbers 1 and 2 in their guide to making better towns and cities post-Covid.
4. It’s kind of famous
Uplands Market has been heralded as a best practice case study in the Design Commission for Wales’ Placemaking Guide 2020 and was featured as one of the Daily Telegraph’s Top 10 street markets in the whole of the UK. Now other organisations visit Uplands Market to see how it can be done – Welsh Government even asked us to write a best practice guide on running markets and street markets are now featured in their programme for Government, drawing strongly on our work.
5. It’s had babies across the Swansea Bay region
Not literally, but due to the success of Uplands Market, the organisers were approached by other areas in Swansea and asked us to create similar street markets there – hello Marina Market, Mumbles Market, Port Talbot Market and Glynneath Market. But Uplands Market will always have a special place in our hearts (shhhh don’t tell the others).
6. It has developed new businesses
It has provided a safe and supportive environment for new enterprises to launch and trade since its inception. Little Valley Bakery, Cyfle I Dyfu, Naturally Kind Foods, and Popty Pizza all used Uplands Market as a launching pad for their businesses before establishing their own shops. They’ve formed strong ties with Uplands’ local businesses, acting as suppliers to a number of them. We’ve also worked with both Universities in Swansea by offering student internships to help run the market – a few have even gone on to launch their own businesses there. Some of the team have been invited to give lectures and talks about Uplands Market to Universities, Colleges and even the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
7. It has boosted local business
One in every five market visitors spends between £10 and £20 in local shops. It has also attracted new people to Uplands, many of whom return to shop in the permanent stores. Some of the stores participate in the market by offering special deals on market days. Local coffee shops have even walked around offering coffee to traders.
8. We love Uplands
We decided to end on this fact. Some of the team live in Uplands and were originally inspired to do something nice for the community. Since 2013, we’ve made great friends with residents, local businesses, traders and volunteers. The feedback we get from the community is incredible and we are always grateful for the positive vibes. We love Uplands and are looking forward to another eight years of markets.
Uplands Market runs in Gwydr Square, every last Saturday of the month (check for Christmas dates in December). More information is available at www.uplandsmarket.com
Cake cutting photo taken pre-Covid19 at Uplands Market’s 5th birthday