Agenda item

Gravesend Borough Market Research & Member Working Group


The Committee was asked to set out:


·         headline findings from the research exercise

·         terms of reference for a proposed Member Working Group


The Service Manager (Customer & Theatres Services) directed Members attention to the summary of findings on page 42 outlining key information. Members were also informed of the research that looked at six specific areas within the Market and drew out what was working well and potential areas for consideration. Those six areas are listed below and elaborated further on pages 43-45 of the report: 


1.    Identifying consumer attitudes and behaviours towards markets and in particular Gravesend Borough Market


2.    Gain an understanding about what consumers want from Gravesend Borough Market and how to meet the needs of varying demographics


3.    Recognise the impact and appeal of pop-up markets and events


4.    Explore thoughts and behaviours surrounding the food court


5.    Establish the most effective and engaging methods of promoting and advertising the market and its offerings


6.    Summarising the unique offering for Gravesend Borough Market traders


The Committee was reminded that at the Community & Leisure Cabinet Committee in June, it was requested that a Member Working Group was set up to review the research information. On consultation with the Chair of the Cabinet Committee, the attached Terms of Reference were developed and attached at appendix two to the report.


In response to a Members query about the formation of the Committee, the Chair advised that:


·         There will be a politically balanced split of Members on the group from Labour, Conservatives and Independent

·         Upon approval of the Terms of Reference, the membership will be decided by the Chair and the first meeting will be held before Christmas; as stated in the TOR, there was to be a maximum of three meetings held before a report is submitted to the meeting of Community & Leisure Committee on Wednesday, 26 February 2019

·         The meeting did not need to be advertised as it was an internal sub-group meeting

·         The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) had already conducted a vast amount of work into the consultation and Market research which Members would be able to review

·         The in depth report laid out the key findings and offered solutions to increase the popularity of the Market such as longer opening hours so that young people would be enticed to visit later in the evening. The report also included various representations from the traders within the market, the people that visited it most frequently and people that didn’t regularly use it

·         How to get further organisations to utilise the spaces at Market such as the ‘snug’; some groups with Gravesham already hire out the ‘snug’ area and provide footfall to the food traders. The intention is that organisations use parts of the Market for meetings which promotes the Market as a friendly meeting space while also promoting the traders within


Concern was raised by a Member that there were only positive reviews and outlooks with no consideration given as to why the public weren’t going into the market and no details on policing of the market.


The Service Manager (Customer & Theatre Services) advised that there was wider work being carried out to improve the economy of the Town Centre and the consultation purely looked at the operations of the market and how to improve the footfall based on the consultation research.


The Assistant Director (Communities) added that the market was in a prime location alongside the redevelopment planned in the Town Centre by Reef which would be completed within the next five years. That development will include new residential units which will bring more people to live in the Town Centre, leading to increased footfall. Lots of positive promotion will be carried out during that development to change the public’s perception of the Town.


Members agreed to the terms of reference attached at appendix two and for a meeting of the Member Market Working Group to be held before Christmas.


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