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How Swansea Street Markets Boost Business


Two-thirds of visitors to Swansea street markets made a special trip to be there, and the same percentage were more likely to visit other local shops and cafes as a result, according to a new survey released to mark the Uplands Market’s fifth birthday.

The Uplands Street Market took place Saturday 28th July and was the 66th market since the first one in July 2013.

The street markets in Uplands and Swansea Marina take place monthly, with a wide range of stalls selling speciality food, arts and crafts.   Accolades from the BBC and The Observer have helped put Swansea on the map.  Uplands Market was named as one of the Top 10 street markets in the UK by the Daily Telegraph.

The survey of150 visitors to the two markets, carried out between February and May 2018, shows:

  • Two-thirds of visitors (67%) said they were only in that area because the market was on
  • Just over two-thirds (70%) say they are more likely to visit other shops/cafes in the area on market day, compared to other days
  • Over three-quarters (77%) say that the street markets have given them a more positive view of the area

The markets are run by Urban Foundry, a creative regeneration agency based in Swansea.   Other figures released by Urban Foundry show:

  • In total there have been 147 street markets and spin-off events since July 2013
  • The biggest recorded crowd at one of the markets was 3142
  • Around 1 in 5 of market-goers will go on to spend between £10 and £24 in other local shops
  • The markets have created 3 businesses, 3 jobs and 8 placements for young people

Dr Ben Reynolds, director of Urban Foundry, which runs the street markets, said:

“The surveys confirm what we had been hearing from our chats with people at the markets since they began – that they are good for businesses, jobs and the community.

Local businesses get a chance to sell and promote their products. As well as the market company itself, two other new businesses were set up after starting life as a market stall.

The jobs and placements we’ve created give opportunities to local people. Plus of course the markets create a wonderful community feel.

It may feel like Swansea has had a bit of a raw deal lately but we’re master of our own destiny. The accolades from the BBC and the London media and today’s survey are all evidence of how even small projects like these can give a boost to our city and put it on the map”.

Rebecca Cobley, owner of Crumbs Café in the Uplands, said:

“Uplands Market has had a fantastic impact on Crumbs. We have just had our 5th birthday as well and it’s great to see how Crumbs and The Uplands Market have grown together. It’s been lovely working together with all the volunteers of the Uplands Market and seeing the growth of the Uplands community. Here’s to many more Uplands Markets!“

The Markets have also helped a Swansea-based organisation which works with people who have faced difficult problems, for example mental health, learning difficulties or substance misuse.  Cyfle i Dyfu/Chance to Grow is a not-for-profit social enterprise based in the city.

Andrew Soroka, Managing Director of Cyfle i Dyfu, which works with people from marginalised groups, said

“On behalf of Cyfle i Dyfu I’d like to sincerely thank the Uplands and Marina Market organisers – without the markets I can categorically say that our social enterprise would never have got off the ground.”