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Swansea Market named Britain's best

WE always knew it was, but now it's official - Swansea Market is the best in the country.

Swansea Market

In an award ceremony in Birmingham, Swansea Market beat off more than 80 others to be named Great Britain's best large indoor market by NABMA - the National Association of British Market Authorities.

Swansea Council, which runs the market, applied for the prestigious award. The areas where the market was judged to excel included its use of social media, its support for new traders, its events programme, its promotion in the community and its partnership working alongside other organisations.

Examples of the historic market embracing the digital age include designated accounts on Twitter and Facebook, and social media promotions with various partners. Each trader is also given their own webpage on the website and then encouraged to take part in a programme of promotional activities and events.

Free pitch competitions have been arranged to encourage start-up businesses and prospective traders are offered the chance to test their business ideas in the casual trading area.  New permanent traders are also offered up to one month's free rent to enable them to set themselves up at their stall. 

Swansea Market is also regularly promoted to schoolchildren and students in the city's universities.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration, said: "This award is well-deserved recognition of the hard work of our fantastic market traders and everyone involved with the promotion and running of the attraction.

"If you speak to anyone who lives or shops in Swansea Bay, they'll tell you the market is the jewel in our retail crown. It makes a brilliant contribution to the city centre's reputation for individuality.

"A major roof refurbishment project is ongoing at the market until the summer to preserve the attraction for many more years to come, but it's business as usual throughout because access into and around the market hall is being maintained at all times."

Leigh Vaughan, Chairman of the Swansea Market Traders Association, said: "Swansea Market stands out from the crowd for a number of reasons -  its unique structure, its location in the heart of the city centre and the fact generations of the same families have been trading and shopping here for many years. I've been involved in the market for over 40 years and I'm now serving the grand-children of people I used to serve.

"Keen to maintain its Welsh feel and renowned for cockles, laverbread, Welsh meats and Welsh produce generally, the market prides itself on diversity and variety. Simply, Swansea Market is the original super market, so it's fantastic to be recognised in this way."

Swansea Market also gives welcome packs to new traders, setting out information including contact points, operational policies and procedures, and marketing and advertising opportunities. A working partnership relationship with Gower College Swansea and local primary schools gives students and young children the chance to try out business ideas in the market too.


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