Sleaford teenage market is relocating to Lincoln in deal with university

The Teenage Market EMN-160728-142529001
The Teenage Market EMN-160728-142529001

Sleaford’s Teenage Market will be relocating to Lincoln after Sleaford Town Team announced today (Thursday) that it has sold on the licence.

Since being started up by the Town Team 18 months ago, the Sleaford Teenage Market has attracted up to 20 young traders from as far afield as Oakham, including the UK’s youngest ever market trader, nine-year-old Jay Humphries of JJ’s Candy.

However the organising team say demands on volunteer time have made it increasingly difficult to build the Teenage Market, so the Sleaford Town Team has passed on the baton to BG Future, the business and enterprise centre at Bishop Grosseteste University, which has purchased the licence to run a Teenage Market from the Sleaford Town Team, which developed the idea.

BG Futures will run the market in Lincoln’s Cornhill, where traders will benefit from increased footfall. The market – the first of which will take place on Saturday October 15 – will also be supported by Lincoln BIG, the city’s business improvement district and Young Enterprise as well as the City of Lincoln Council.

Discussions are currently being held between the Sleaford Town Team and BG Futures to identify how traders from other areas can be integrated into the Lincoln market.

BG Futures hopes to develop the Teenage Market for the benefit of young people from a range of ages, backgrounds and areas.

“This is something we simply haven’t got the funds to achieve, so we couldn’t be happier to see this development as it will inevitably make a huge difference to the teenage traders,” said Clare Rayner, retail expert and high street campaigner, chair of Sleaford Town Team.

“The opportunity for the traders now is immense – to benefit from high-quality stalls in a central position in Lincoln where footfall is constantly high; that’s something we simply could never have provided in Sleaford.

“While we’re sad to see the Market relocate, it is the right thing to do for the young traders, to give their blossoming businesses a boost, and to help each of them on their journey to entrepreneurial success.”

Mrs Rayner explained that footfall to, and spending at, Sleaford’s Teenage Market has been too low for many of the traders to justify the overheads of running a stall, even when there are no pitch fees.

She went on: “Nationally, the Teenage Market’s primary objective is to give young traders and performers a platform to showcase their talents and creativity in their local community – but with such a limited audience our traders and performers simply don’t get that benefit. To ensure that the next generation of business owners get the opportunity they deserve, the move to Lincoln feels like the most suitable option.

“Yes, in some respect Sleaford loses out, but, business is business, and if we want our young traders and performers to get the best chance to prove themselves we need to make tough decisions like this for their benefit.”

The licence to set up a Sleaford teenage Market was purchased thanks to a crowd-funding drive to raise the £1,000 for the fee with key sponsors being the three town secondary schools.

Mrs Rayner said: “BG Futures will procure the balance of the pre-paid licence fee, allowing Sleaford Town Team to offer a proportion back to all those who contributed to the crowd-funding, if they want it.

“Of course, the businesses and schools who supported the crowd-fund may prefer to continue a relationship with BG Futures until May 2017, when the balance of the existing licence term comes to an end.”

Nikki Smith of BG Futures said: “We are extremely happy to be involved with the Teenage Market, which has been so successful in Sleaford. We hope to build on the work done by the Sleaford Town Team and continue to give the young people of Lincoln and surrounding areas this brilliant opportunity to showcase their business and performance skills to a wider audience.”

Joe Barratt, co-founder of The Teenage Market franchise, which was first started up in Stockport, said: “It has been great to see the Teenage Market develop in Sleaford over the last year as a result of the work of a really dedicated team of volunteers.

“By expanding the initiative to Lincoln we’ll be able to give more young people the opportunity to develop their business and secure the future delivery of Teenage Market events.”

Michael Armstrong, Lincoln BIG Events and Promotion Manager, said: “Lincoln BIG is very happy to be associated with this new market, which will help to provide a fantastic business opportunity to the young people of Lincolnshire.”

The last Sleaford Teenage Market will take place at Sleaford Re-Vibe on August 28. Any new traders from Lincoln or the surrounding areas who want to get involved in that event should contact admin@sleafordtownteam.co.uk.

To find out more contact Nikki via teenagemarket@bishopg.ac.uk.