ADD2223 10th International Markets Conference

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
09 April 2018
Decision by: 
Debbie Jackson, Interim Assistant Director for Built Environment

Executive summary

DD2151 approved the budget of £125,345 for the development and implementation of a range of projects related to London Street Markets. 

One of the projects agreed in DD 2151 is the organisation of the 10th International Markets Conference which will be co-hosted by the Mayor of London in City Hall and venues around the city in June 2019. 

This ADD requests the allocation of £45,000 of the £125,345 for the organisation of the 10th International Markets Conference.


That the Assistant Director of Regeneration approves the allocation of £45,000 for the organisation of the 10th International Markets Conference. 


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    Retail and wholesale markets play a vital role in London as places of employment, trade and leisure. They provide variety and diversity, history and character, and bring footfall to high streets and town centres. They are an essential part of Londoners’ everyday experience of the city, as well as London’s international identity. 

1.2    Markets are London’s original ‘incubators’ for new businesses to get off the ground, offering low cost, low risk spaces for self-employment, testing new ideas and entrepreneurship, as well as entry-level routes into employment. However, we know London’s markets are facing pressures from technological, social and economic change, and having listened to individuals and organisations from across London’s markets sector over the past months, we recognise the need for strategic oversight and management of issues affecting markets at a city level. 

1.3    In recognition of these challenges in December 2017 the Mayor announced his commitment to a range of activities that aim to raise the profile of London Markets, support good growth in our high streets and town centres, and ensure markets keep flourishing. 

1.4    This announcement including the establishment of a London Markets Board, the publication of a research on markets, the first ever interactive markets map and the hosting of an international markets conference. 

1.5    In summer 2017, Project for Public Spaces (PPS) appointed London to host the 10th International Markets Conference in 2019.  The conference will be hosted from the 5th to 8th June 2019 in a range of locations across London, including City Hall. 

1.6    The themes of the conference are in line with the Mayor’s objective, which are around inclusion, innovation and impact. 

1.7    The conference programme will include: workshop, seminars, visits to a range of London markets, organising of an opening and closing plenary, an exhibition of London Historic markets, an awards ceremony, and market-food events. A copy of the draft programme for the three days conference can be found in annex 1.

1.8    The GLA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PPS in which a range of commitments have been made. These include:

•    Invest £30,000 in organising the conference
•    Seek sponsorship (in kind or cash) to supplement the above mentioned budget
•    Provide City Hall premises free of charge for the conference

For a full copy of the MoU please refer to appendix 4.

1.9 In order to achieve these commitments we are seeking the approval of £45,000 to ensure the organisation of the conference cover all possible unforeseen costs.

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    It is expected that the conference will:

a)    Raise the profile of London markets among Londoners. A range of activities for Londoners will take place before, during and after the conference. The aim of these events is to engage Londoners in the market scenery and make them aware of the important role high street markets play economically and socially in their adjacent communities.

b)    In line with the Mayor’s campaign ‘London is open’ it is expected that an international conference of this nature and with delegates attending from all continents, it will raise the profile of London as city, its markets and its business potential. 

c)    There will be specific events/activities to engage with young Londoners from all communities and backgrounds. The aim is to ensure Londoners, start ups, new entrepreneurs identify markets as potential employment opportunities or places to test their business ideas.


Equality comments

3.1    This initiative will support London markets to raise their profile and become more efficient. Particular emphasis will be played in the social and inclusive agenda. The themes of the conference are ensuring inclusion drives the new generation of markets and links to innovation and sustainable societies and good growth.

3.2    The themes of the conference are Inclusion, Innovation and Impact aim to ensure that Londoners from all backgrounds, ages and communities see the opportunities that markets provide and access them for employment or start up their business ideas.

3.3    One of the activities running in parallel to the conference will be supporting and encouraging young people from all backgrounds. There will be a youth market that will run in parallel to the conference.

Other considerations

4.1 Link with Mayoral manifesto commitments:

•    Be the most pro-business Mayor yet, working in partnership with industry to deliver on skills, infrastructure, and growth.
•    The markets agenda is closely linked to the Mayor’s objectives of ‘A City for All Londoners’ and London is Open

Financial comments

5.1    The proposed GLA contribution of up to £45,000 for the 10th International Markets Conference will be funded from the Growing Places Fund ‘revenue budget’ for 2018-19, specifically via the £125,345 earmarked through DD2151 to support the London Streets Market Programme.

5.2    It should be noted that the initial financial commitment made to the ‘Project for Public Spaces’ (PPS) for the conference was for up to £30,000 with potentially in-kind support and sponsorship to supplement the project. This was reflected in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between PPS and the GLA. However, the GLA will earmark up to £45,000 for the conference to ensure successful delivery and to cover any unforeseen costs.

 5.3     Any remaining funds unused from the £45,000 will be re-allocated to the overall London Streets Market Programme to be utilised on other related high street market activities/ projects.

Planned delivery approach and next steps




London Market Board conference working group meetings

March 2018 to April 2019

Conference opening for registration

Summer 2018

Contract conference organisers

Summer 2018

Secure external venues and pay deposit

Spring 2018

Procure food for events

Spring/Summer 2018

Design materials for conference

Summer/Autumn 2018

Procure materials for welcome packs

Spring/Summer 2018

Conference taking place

June 2019


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