Market traders get back to business as lockdown easing measures begin in England

Market traders get back to business as lockdown easing measures begin in England
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Mon 1st Jun 2020

Some of England's outdoor markets are reopening this week as the government's measures for relaxing coronavirus restrictions begin.

Small traders are setting up their stalls again as they are now permitted to trade if they can follow the government's safety guidance. The National Market Traders Federation has also launched a guide to how small businesses can trade safely.

Among those returning to business is Barnsley Market, which can trace its origins back to 1249. Food has been on sale during the lockdown but the market has expanded its range of stalls today.

Barnsley Council is supporting traders with grants and no rent to pay until October. Appearing on Wake Up To Money on BBC 5 Live alongside Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones on Monday, Maria Cotton from Barnsley Council said there has been an increase in footfall to the essential food stalls. Around 7,000 visited the market at the beginning of April which rose to 13,000 on 23 May.

"We're hoping over the next two weeks we'll see that sort of gradual increase so that it allows us to adapt and respond to the numbers as they grow," she added.

"We know it's going to be a challenging return back to normal and we need to all pull together to make sure that it's a success for the traders, the market and the wider town centre."

Barnsley Council has several safety measures in place including 'social distancing champions' on hand to advise people and making sure queues for the market don't impact on other queues for physical shops that are open.

Other markets reopening include:

Maidstone Market reopens on Saturday 13 June. Traders including a specialist coffee and tea producer, cupcakes, farm produce, bakery, street food and flowers. The market is offering free stalls for eight sessions to Kent producers and sellers. Email for more information.

Leeds Kirkgate Market has been open during the lockdown for essential shopping but the full outdoor market is now open. The council has waived stakeholder fees and traders have been spread out across the market to allow for social distancing.

Bonny Street Market in Blackpool has reopened. It trades seven days a week.

Ely in Cambridgeshire has been home to markets for over 800 years and stalls make a return on Thursdays and Saturdays starting on 11 June.

Camden Market, a 45-year-old large market in north London, has reopened today. A one way system is in force with hand sanitiser across the market site.

The street food market at Finzels Reach in Bristol returns on 5 June. Various safety measures are in place include social distancing, a reduced number of stalls, regulated queuing and contactless payments. The market has provided a user guide for customers.

Rotherham Outdoor Market is now open from Monday to Saturday for general retail and second hand goods.

Durham County Council is reopening its nine outdoor markets including the market in Barnard Castle, the town at the centre of the recent Dominic Cummings controversy.

The Creake Abbey Farmers' Market in Norfolk returns on 4 June with 45 stalls. Social distancing is in place and customers are encouraged to pre-order products in advance.

Are you a market trader who's back in business? We'd love to hear from you! Email Dan.

The latest coronavirus support information

We are keeping you updated on the latest information on how to access the government's coronavirus business support here. You can also find advice and ask a question on Enterprise Nation's coronavirus business advice hub. Follow Enterprise Nation on Twitter too for updates.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

Get business support right to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive business tips, learn about new funding programmes, join upcoming events, take e-learning courses, and more.