Starting a street market

Photo credit: Kriss Lee

Chatsworth Road market takes place every Sunday on an independent high street.

The high street was facing competition from national retailers and the area was changing rapidly. The market was seen as a way of increasing footfall and widening the appeal of the street as a shopping destination.


  • To reintroduce a street market in line with local preferences
  • To develop operational procedures and processes for starting a street market
  • Recruit traders and build the market from zero
  • Build relationships with the local authority (London Borough of Hackney) and across the neighbourhood working with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Market the street to residents and visitors to increase footfall


  • A weekly street market was reintroduced after a 10-year absence and four paid jobs created. Trader numbers grew from 16 to 50+
  • The street has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the UK and more than 15 new businesses have opened since the market was reinstated
  • The market has appeared in a range of local press and national magazines from Time Out to Condé Nast Traveller and Vogue. It won a Time Out Love London Local award three years in a row
  • A website has been built and maintained plus social media accounts created and managed with followers numbering more than 10,000
  • Chatsworth Road the street was featured in the government’s report on parades of shops and their place in communities
  • Chatsworth Road Traders’ & Residents’ Association were used as an organisational case study in the Portas High Street Review on the future of high streets

Additional information

Our director, Diane is one of the founders of the award-winning Chatsworth Road market in Hackney where she was a director of the community interest company and sat on the Street Markets Advisory Board, a cabinet level council group for more than five years. She was responsible for strategy and operations of the weekly market alongside running the marketing programme via a website and social media. With a colleague she job-shared the role of market manager for two years.

Diane brought a wealth of experience and helped to make the foundation firm for the market to grow and develop into the success it is today, having come into the top five of the Time Out Shopping and Style awards. She also helped to pilot the creation of a CIC to run the market and the associated Chatsworth Festival, and built footfall in the street and a renaissance of confidence in Chatsworth Road as a local high street, which has triggered regeneration of both the street and the wider area of that part of Hackney.

Councillor Ian Rathbone, London Borough of Hackney

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High streets, Markets, Retail, Start-ups, Storytelling