The purpose of the initial project was to demonstrate the qualities of public space in a usually car dominated area by establishing and sustaining a once monthly on street local produce market, focused on high quality artisan sellers, and in the process improving the cultural offer of the area (and the city at large) and driving up footfall and spend for local businesses.
What we did
We led an enthusiastic group of local people, including local businesses, local Councillors and members of the community to create Uplands Market. We consulted with the Local Authority, the various statutory agencies, local businesses, prospective stallholders and the community. We researched best practice and established a business plan and operational model, and formed a social enterprise to deliver the initiative. We then developed the operational procedures and marketing of the initiative. The Uplands, Marina and Morriston Markets are monthly street markets selling a huge range of Welsh produce from beautiful hand-made items to delicious fresh food.
Results of our work
The market was a huge success from the beginning – it doubled in size within its first month and is now at capacity for the available space with 70 stalls and thousands of shoppers every month. There is a long waiting list of potential traders and market day is now a firm feature of the local area. The market is supported by local shops and cafes, all contributing to a real buzz to the area, with local retailers reporting significant increases to their trade. In 2014 we supported the set up of a second street market in the city’s Marina, which regularly features over 50 stallholders and high footfall, and in 2016 we created Morriston Market.
The initiative has created a sustainable social enterprise, which has created a full time job for a recent graduate, and provides an outlet for artisan producers to sell their wares. Additionally, it succeeds as a mechanism that activates public spaces and (re)makes them as people places, where local communities come together every month. They are firm fixtures in the Swansea calendar and have won rave reviews from stallholders, local businesses and the general public.
The Uplands Market was featured as one of the Daily Telegraph’s Top 10 street markets in the UK, has twice been a runner up in the Observer Food Monthly Awards, and was also the nominee from Wales put forward for the BBC Radio Wales ‘Best Food Market’ category at the 2015 BBC Food & Farming Awards. The Uplands Market directly contributed to the Uplands being voted the 14th hippest place in the UK in Travel Supermarket’s 2016 survey and they have been recognised annually in the Swansea Life awards.
- "The Uplands Market has been a massive boost to trade and to the Uplands in general. Market days are lively and vibrant, there is always a really good atmosphere and the huge increase in footfall is good for everyone. After several years the Market continues to make a positive impact and long may it continue!"Alex Clatworthy, Chattery Restaurant, Uplands