Harborough Market named Britain's best small indoor market

Published Monday 1 February 2016

The markets industry gathered this week for the National Association of British Market Authorities Great British Market Awards 2016, and Harborough Market came out on top.

The six day market took the coveted title of ‘Britain’s Best Small Indoor Market 2016’ at the event - regarded by many as the jewel in the industry awards crown - beating off stiff competition.

Britain's best small indoor market award


The ceremony was held in Birmingham Council House and attended by High Street and Markets Minister Marcus Jones MP.

Since its re-opening in 2014 under the management of Market Place, Harborough Market has fast secured its place in the heart of the community, representing scores of local independent businesses each week.

The judging panel made up of Jeremy Bradin, KPR Midlink, Councillor Mick Barker, NABMA President, Rob Nixon, Markets Manager, Stoke and Kirsty Flatt of Market Trade News, deliberated over this highly competitive category and awarded Harborough Market the title of ‘Britain’s Best Small Indoor Market’ in recognition of the huge importance the market plays in the traditional market town of Market Harborough.

Working in partnership with Harborough District Council, Market Place and the Market Manager Sairah Butt have ensured the Market has made a significant and positive impact on the town of Market Harborough. They have worked hard to establish two new trading days, delivering a fantastic range of themed weekdays including a Vintage and Retro Market each Wednesday, the Craft Market on a Thursday and an Antiques Market on Sundays. Some of the high quality products found daily at the market include: fresh fish, vegetables, fruit, cheeses, meats, made-to-order cakes, Turkish lanterns, jewellery, laptops, furniture and much more, all provided by specialist local businesses.

Nick Rhodes, CEO of Market Place, the company who manage Harborough Market said: “The traders at Harborough Market and their diverse, high quality retail offer are the special ingredients that make the Market so distinct. We have made significant efforts to develop just the right formula to create a successful market, and we are thrilled our efforts have been recognised by the industry. Sairah Butt, our Market Manager, has taken the time to develop and nurture relationships with the traders, has raised the profile of the market through an effective advertising campaign, and in addition to the day to day running of the Market Hall, she has delivered a programme of community engagement events, helping to nurture an ownership of the market by the town’s people.”

Cllr Blake Pain, leader of Harborough District Council which owns the market building, said: “This award is another fantastic achievement which recognises how much Harborough Market has improved since its redevelopment in 2014. The Market has quickly established itself as a beating heart of the town, with the excellent shopping experience and quality food now on offer. Congratulations to our market traders, Market Place and all at the district council for this award. Of course it is the tens of thousands of customers who visit the Market each week who have made it the success it has become."

Market Place recently took part in a Department for Communities and Local Government commissioned study into the economic impact of markets, showing spending of approximately £17.81 per visit. The findings of the report when applied to Harborough Market suggest customer spend of over £1 million per month across all traders, a testament to all the hard work which goes on behind the scenes.

Harborough Market Food Hall and General Hall is open from 8am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday. The Antiques, Retro and Collectables Market takes place on a Wednesday. The Craft Market takes place on a Thursday. The Antiques Market takes place on Sunday from 9am to 3pm.

Winners of each category

  • Best Love Your Local Market Event – Warrington Market
  • Best Large Indoor Market – St Nicholas Markets, Bristol
  • Best Large Outdoor Market – Rotherham Street Market
  • Best Small Indoor Market – Harborough Market
  • Best Small Outdoor Market – Hebden Bridge
  • Best Large Community Market – Enfield Market
  • Best Small Community Market – Tettenhall Make It and Bake It Market
  • Best Large Speciality Market – Tall Ships Belfast 2015
  • Best Small Speciality Market – The Alternative Market
  • Best Wholesale Market – Glasgow Wholesale Market – Blochairn
  • Best Large Food Market – Borough Market
  • Best Small Food Market – Electric Nights Streetfood
  • Best Market Attraction Market – Duke of York Square (Partridges) Market
  • Britain’s Favourite Market – Leeds Market


Pictured: Cllr Blake Pain, leader of Harborough District Council, and Sairah Butt, market manager (front centre) with the award for Britain's best small indoor market, alongside traders