This website was originally created in 2015 to support an action research project funded by the Antipode Foundation and carried out by Dr Sara Gonzalez and Gloria Dawson at the University of Leeds. This project officially finished in 2016 but Sara Gonzalez has carried on doing research/campaigning on the same topic and occasionally updates the blog with her personal/academic reflection. Currently she has a related project looking at the "community value" of Traditional Markets in the UK. The twitter account for that is @markets4people. You can also contact Sara on her university email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or via @sgonzalez_sara.
The 2015/16 project aimed to develop evidence around some of the issues facing traditional retail markets in the UK and move towards building a campaign network around these markets. It was developed in conjunction with campaigners including traders, customers and researchers both inside and outside universities.
Many traditional retail markets in the UK are struggling. Whilst farmers' and specialist markets in some areas are increasingly popular, the traditional covered or open markets are finding it harder to make a profit. Campaigns and contestations around traditional retail markets often share common cause, analysis, barriers and approaches but although here have been some limited links between these established campaigns, no real and sustained networks of action or information and skills exchange have been established. The contacts are even more limited with the smaller short-term campaigns and with researchers. We want to scale up and coordinate these struggles, connect campaigners, traders and critical academics across the country to share analysis and skills in order to inspire and empower others to fight against gentrification and corporatisation of retail and city centres.
(Photo: Birmingham outdoor Market, Feb 2015)