Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Council appoints experts to review Lancaster Market

Krys Zasada, who
is spearheading
the NCS study of
Lancaster Market
Lancaster City Council has appointed market experts NCS, the consultancy arm of the National Association of British Market Authorities, to produce an indepth report on the future of Lancaster Market.

The future of the Market was hotly debated earlier in the year after attempts were made to partially re-purpose at least part of the Market building to the now failed supermarket chain ASCO. Councillors rejected the plan put forward by Cabinet after locals rallied in support of the Market which seemed to be lined up for closure.

NABMA supports local authority operated markets throughout the country and was chosen due to its track record in carrying out market reviews, recent examples of which include work for Glasgow, St Edmundsbury and Southwark councils.

The work will be lead by Krys Zasada, who is Managing Director of Sheffield-based Food Routes Limited and Policy Development Manager for the NABMA. Formerly Head of Manchester Markets, he was instrumental in the revamp of the New Smithfield Wholesale Market which was part-funded from European Union grant support, which sought to modernise and improve the business performance of the tenants and improve the physical infrastructure through a multi-million pound redevelopment of the site.

Zasada is an enthusiastic supporter of markets and their value to the community. In a report for the Retail Markets Alliance, he argued strongly that "markets matter.

"They bring richness and diversity to the High Street as well as giving customers choice and value for money," he wrote. “In this time of rising unemployment they are also important in terms of the jobs they create — currently supporting almost 47,000 independent trader businesses.

“Their performance during the recession has been mixed, just like the rest of the High Street," he acknowledged, "with good markets and traders continuing to perform well, while others have struggled.

“It’s important that we understand what makes a successful market so that others can learn from it. The successful ones are dynamic and innovative and respond to the changing demands of customers; and let’s not forget that many of today’s big retailers like TESCO, Morrison’s and M&S started life on markets”.

Zasada was recently appointed to the Government Task force on increasing the production and consumption of fruit and vegetables in England. He's also a member of the recently formed government Working Group on Retail Markets and a member of the Board of London Food overseeing the implementation of the Mayor’s Food Strategy.

Areas NCS will to cover in its report include  the viability of providing a predominantly (specialist) food retail market, in the context of Lancaster’s developing role as a heritage city; whether the current structure and layout of the market is fit for purpose and to identify any changes, that might be necessary; what appropriate lease arrangements should be in place between the council and the market traders, including the viability of a tenants’ charter.

They will also advise to what extent, if any, other complementary, non-physical works are required, such as marketing, to ensure a viable market and how the indoor and charter markets can be linked

The final report should be ready by December.

Coun Jon Barry, chair of the Lancaster Market Cabinet Liaison Group, said: "I am delighted with the level of expertise that NCS will bring to rejuvenating Lancaster Market. I am very much looking forward to their conclusions and on moving the market forward. These are exciting times for the market."

A spokesperson for NCS said: “NABMA is delighted to work with Lancaster City Council and welcome the opportunity to help support the market and ensure its long term future and sustainability."

National Association of British Market Authorities


Retail Markets Alliance Market Report (PDF, 2MB)

1 comment:

Lucy Green said...

This is an important issue for Lancaster. MPA has commissioned an artist named Alice Angus to produce work inspired by Lancaster's rich heritage of independent trade which will be on display on New Street in November, and much of her research has carried out in the market. You can read the project blog here: http://lancasterasitcomes.wordpress.com/