In Haunt

The title of ‘Best Small Outdoor Market’ has been awarded to Levenshulme Market – announced at the Great British Market Awards on the 30 January 2020.

The awards – involving wholesale and retail markets across the UK - are organised by NABMA (National Association of British Market Authorities), sponsored by Blachere Illuminations and took place with a ceremony at Birmingham’s Council House.

Levenshulme Market

The judges commented: ‘This market is 5 years old. It has been featured in regional and local press and is a market run by the community itself. It has a huge impact on its area making environmental improvements to its trading site by improving verges, introducing planters, cycle racks and wall art. The directors engage with local organisations and schools about career plans and becoming independent traders. This is a market that has changed the dynamics of an area, and its environment, by creating a vibrant community hub. It represents a real team effort. All profits from the market go back to helping the market operate in a socially, environmentally and financially sustaining way. This is a social enterprise market.'

This marks an exciting start for the year for Levenshulme Market; a much-loved community run social enterprise, which Haunt Manchester has previously featured on a number of occasions. It is the only social enterprise of its kind in Manchester and one of only a handful of Social Enterprise Markets in the country – creating a community hub as well as a popular place to shop independently. Affectionately referred to as ‘Levy Market’, it has grown to be an exciting and much-loved feature of Levenshulme life – and  attracting wider recognition too; as was also a finalist in the 2019 BBC Food and Farming Awards.

Levenshulme Market

Every weekend on Levenshulme Train Station car park between March and December, the thriving market brings together a variety of independent and local traders selling everything from homemade food and drink to crafted jewellery, houseplants and art! There is typically a live music feature too. Here at Haunt, we have been excited to cover Levenshulme Market, not only because of its celebration of individuality and use of an alternative space – but it also incorporates a wide range of artisan creativity. At the Haunt Manchester Networking Fair late last year, we were delighted to feature two of the Levenshulme Market regular traders: Hotchpotchpanda and Mary’s Jewellery Bakery.

It certainly has been a story of ongoing transformation for Levenshulme Market; launched as a Community Interest Company (CIC) back in 2013, growing from a monthly to a weekly format in 2014 and getting involved in an increasing number of local partnerships and community funding schemes from 2015 onwards.

The innovative format even involves an atmospheric ‘Night Market’ once a month, with the running time of 5-9pm. 2019 also saw Levenshulme Market take its traders on Tuesdays to a site at The University of Manchester (11.30am-2.30pm), which will continue during 2020.

Richard Hirst, manager at Levenshulme Market added:

 “We're incredibly proud to win this award. Markets are an important social space, not just for people to do their shopping and have a bite to eat, but for a community to come together and engage with one another. It's great to see such a strong showing for northern markets, with Chester Market, Grainger Market in Newcastle and Pease Pudding Night Market in Darlington all receiving awards. We could never have won without the efforts of our wonderful traders and the enthusiasm of our customers from Levenshulme and beyond.”

Levenshulme Market

To discover more about Levenshulme Market, visit the website – and the next takes place on Saturday 7 March, 10-4pm.

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