On Saturday 30th August a group went from Seven Kings to Forest Gate to see the successful pop up market that now runs 3 days a week. From left to right Diane Wynn Fitzgerald (interested in starting to trade as a charity fundraiser), Cllr Bob Littlewood, Kim Judge (Seven Kings Traders), Cllr Stuart Bellwood, Laura Glendinning (local resident who co-manages the market), Cllr Kay Scoresby (Newham), Jenny Coverdale and then me, both from Sophia Hub.
This is a local residents initiative and is run by the community but has had a lot of support and encouragement from the Local Authority. Laura thinks that the market has a different feel, and higher level of involvement and support from the traders because it is a community initiative. She thinks it is a strength that it does not have a corporate feel.
Much information was shared about how the market manages licences, insurance and pricing to ensure that it is affordable for small and new traders. An impact on this tiny area opposite Forest Gate station is that two empty shops have been taken over and turned into thriving businesses – a cafe and an emporium. This was directly due to the opportunity for the traders to get some experience and build up a customer base as market traders. There’s much more.
Kim, Bob and Stuart are taking back to the information to the next Seven Kings Traders meeting to see how something like this can get going in the Seven Kings area. Dawayne Williams, Seven Kings Town Centre Manager, was unable to attend at the last minute but is setting up his own visit with the Seven Kings Traders group that could not make it including Sat Kumar of Hansons Estates.
There is a lot of interest among our start-ups in opportunities for affordable trading opportunities. Interest in a lively local market in the Seven Kings area has been practically universal! (Ros)