Market Square feasibility study

Reimagining a market square and establishing it at the heart of the town centre

Working with a leading architects practise, we were commissioned to explore how one of London’s largest public squares could be better used for markets and other activities.

Brief

To carry out a review of the market square  to look at maximising its use as the key public space in the town centre both on market days, when it was underutilised and on non market days when it was used as a car park which included:

  • Developing a detailed understanding of how the space is currently used and what the challenges are
  • Understanding the market’s performance and what support it needs to be more successful
  • Identifying key assets surrounding the market square, anticipating future changes and how the square interacts with the town centre
  • Analysing data on the borough and town centre to consider how a new offer would fit with its predicted demographic change
  • Engaging market traders, the BID and other town centre stakeholders close to the square
  • Proposing and test revised market plans/layouts and a programme of alternative uses (of the square) based on successful interventions in other locations

Results

The project took place during the Covid-19 pandemic at a time when the market and many businesses were closed meaning engagement methods were adapted. A report summarising the borough data and engagement which included:

  • More than 40% of market traders engaged despite some shielding and none trading
  • A review of how the square interacted with the businesses around it from conversations and observational visits
  • Analysis of a wide range of data from the council’s intelligence hub and the GLA’s datastore to shape the recommendations
  • Options for using the square on non-market days considering examples from other locations across the UK and Europe
  • Proposals with the BID on engaging local traders and supporting new businesses
Custom Field

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Date
Category
Covid-19, Engagement, High streets, Markets, Retail
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