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New weekly Saturday market on Roman Road

Crowds getting food at Roman Road Festival
Food court – Roman Road Summer Festival © Fields of Light Photography

A new weekly Saturday market is going to be piloted on the Roman Road car park from 19 March 2016.

The market will be called Roman Road Yard Market and it will specialise in unique wares including vintage, collectables, mid-century and music, as well as locally produced or handmade arts, crafts and fashion. The new Yard Market won’t be selling fresh produce as there are plans to develop this into the main street market.

The market will be operated by Roman Road Trust, a community development organisation working on the regeneration of Roman Road. The main aim of the market is to increase footfall to the road and profits from the new market will be reinvested into further community projects.

Roman Road Trust has been responsible for organising several markets as part of Roman Road Festival including the Eid party and craft market that was held in the car park in July 2015. The new Yard Market will work in partnership with Interact hub the community room on Ford Road set up by Public Works and Cass students. Together they will produce additional content including workshops, exhibition, talks and guided walks to create a unique, community-led market offering.

Feedback was collected by Roman Road Trust from local residents and visitors attending the four previous festivals that featured specialist markets. This feedback revealed an overwhelming demand for more community-led events and markets that offer a strong community content and local offering.

The Yard Market will be on the car park at the corner of Roman Road and St Stephen’s Road. This site connects the western and eastern stretch of Roman Road, and it is hoped that the market will help encourage pedestrians to move between the two stretches of the high street.

The offering of this specialist market is designed to compliment rather than compete with the existing offer on the street market. Adding to the road’s existing offering will give local and destination shoppers more reason to come to Roman Road and explore all its great shops and stalls.

Research conducted by the GLA demonstrates that shoppers at street markets spend in total between £3,000 and £15,000 every market day in nearby shops and local businesses. Off the back of the money spent in London markets, an additional £752m is spent in shops in the local area, which give markets a significant local economic multiplier effect of 1.75.

It is hoped the new market will act as a stepping-stone to help encourage groups of new traders and new visitors into the existing market. In the past, new traders invited to the market by the local authority selling non-fashion goods have failed to stay more than a week or two claiming poor public awareness and poor sales due to being ‘hidden’ in fashion stalls.

Roman Road Trust has spoken directly with over 300 local shops and market traders to talk about the initiative and get feedback about the idea. Feedback was overwhelmingly supportive from the majority of local shops and market traders. Less than ten local shop owners expressed a concern about the loss of parking, four of whom had serious worries about how this may impact their regular customers who drive to Roman Road from other parts of London.

The impact of losing the 23 spaces on the car park will be monitored throughout the pilot of this Saturday market, and the Roman Road Trust will revisit the shop owners who have registered serious concerns at the end of the pilot. It is hoped that the new market, and the publicity surrounding it, will bring in a large number of additional shoppers to the road, outweighing the impact of losing these parking spaces.

In the meantime, visitors driving to the area can make use of two-hours of free parking on Saturdays in 802 Multi Use Bays on and around Roman Road.

The first day of the new market will be celebrated with a launch party as part of the Mayor of London Festival on Saturday 19 March! Don’t miss it!

Interested in getting a stall at Roman Road Yard Market?

 > Click here to apply for a stall on Roman Road Yard Market.



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Tabitha Stapely

Tabitha Stapely is the founder of Social Streets C.I.C, a not-for-profit media company using journalism to strengthen communities, particularly those in disadvantaged or neglected areas. Prior, Stapely was a writer and editor for national titles including The Telegraph Saturday Magazine, Elle and Red magazines.

6 thoughts on “New weekly Saturday market on Roman Road

  • Great idea. We need more variety in the market offering. More food stalls would be great too. We will be there 🙂

  • How fabulous. I love the Roman Rd market and it will be great to get an extension of other things on offer. Will have to invest in a bigger shopping trolley….

  • Happy for new stalls and regeneration but why can this market not be incorporated into the existing market which is loosing it’s edge. Parking spaces a massive issue, the roads mentioned are used by surrounding residents leaving not alot of spaces within the vicinity. Visitors already find it hard to walk through the market leisurely and have a coffee within specified time. No market traders are aware of the new market being opened, I hope this does not sway them to move on from Roman Rd market which has been around for several generations.

  • Nice idea. But I feel it should be food focused and bring in the food assembly!

  • Food, especially allowing the Food Assembly, would be good.
    The current market is patchy at best. A stall was selling used pots and pans a few weeks ago. Is that what we want?

  • Brilliant idea, hopefully it can grow big enough to replace the current market.


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