Community Markets: Blackbird Leys

Community Markets: Blackbird Leys

One of the biggest challenges for new community enterprises in Oxford is finding an affordable place to trade. High rents and business rates create a very high ‘cost of entry’ to the local economy.

So the Owned by Oxford by Oxford project is really excited by the potential for markets to provide low cost, temporary spaces that can catalyse new initiatives, whilst also creating a social space that brings together different parts of the community. If those spaces are owned and managed by those communities, even better!

We’re delighted to be helping Transition Lighthouse CIC to set up a new community owned market in Blackbird Leys. The market will be open to all but will put an emphasis on providing Oxford’s African-Caribbean community with products and services that might otherwise be difficult to find in the city, as well as offering local social and community organisations a way to connect with local people.

Expect to hear more on this exciting initiative very soon!…

The markets team meet at Blackbird Leys Communtity Cemtre to discuss the project

Why Community Markets?

The potential for markets to support Community Wealth Building has been highlighted in recent reports by Markets 4 People – a collaboration between researchers at University College London, the University of Leeds, the New Economic Foundation, and the Centre for Local Economic Studies (CLES), as well as the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) and the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA).

Their work helps evidence our belief that markets are a fantastic tool for supporting the emergence of community led economic activity, along with many other positive social outcomes, including:

  • Access to good quality, healthy and affordable fresh food.
  • Opportunities for social and cultural interaction.
  • Relatively low-cost and accessible trading spaces.
  • Serving low-income groups; black and minority ethnic groups; migrants and refugees; elderly people; socially isolated and other vulnerable groups.

They’ll soon be publishing a new toolkit aimed at community market operators, helping them to navigate some of the challenges in setting up and running a market.

Have ideas? Get in touch

If you’re a community organisation that’s interested in setting up or being part of a new market, and would like to know more about what’s involved, why not get in touch with us to discuss through

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