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St Albans Charter Market declared Best Large Outdoor Market in Britain

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St Albans Charter Market has won a prestigious national award for being – the Best Large Outdoor Market in Britain.

The historic Market took the coveted title at the Great British Markets Awards 2024 which is run by the National Association of British Markets (NABMA).

Praising the Market, the judges said: “Its commitment to supporting new traders, modernising infrastructure and active collaboration with local partners sets it apart.”

Councillor Jacqui Taylor accepted the trophy on behalf of St Albans City and District Council, the Market’s owner, at NABMA’s annual conference in Birmingham on Thursday 25 January.

She was joined by Markets Manager James Ó Nuanáin and Markets Officers Charlotte Graham and Geeta Rebaudengo.

Cllr Taylor said:

This is a fantastic achievement by all those who have supported our wonderful Charter Market.

It is a special moment to be declared the Best Large Outdoor Market in the country and I thank all those who made it possible - our fabulous traders, our Markets team and, of course, the many thousands of residents who live, work and shop here.

We worked hard to keep the Market open during Covid and to revitalise it after the pandemic and this award recognises that we have overcome the many challenges we were faced with.

The number of traders has been growing, with many new entrepreneurs hiring a pitch, and our occupancy rate has been on an upward trend. That welcome growth has added to the vibrant atmosphere of the City Centre on Market days.

Now we have captured this award, we will be under even more pressure to continue making positive changes to ensure we remain the Best Large Outdoor Market in the UK.

The judges’ full citation said:

This is a Charter Market with some 130 plus stalls that dates to the ninth century. It is in a traditional setting and is a major visitor attraction bringing its town centre alive on market days.

It actively supports new traders with online applications, guidance and advice and these efforts have secured a diverse range of both traders and commodities for sale. It has recently been modernised in both layout and infrastructure as it has recovered out of the pandemic. Local partnerships are important and working with the local policing team is an example whereby antisocial issues around the market have been eliminated.

Management has a vision and a ten-year strategy that includes for a forum with traders, residents and businesses; plans to expand the market area; and liaison with colleges and enterprise schemes to attract traders for the future.

There has been a Market in the centre of St Albans since around 860 and it was granted its Royal Charter by Edward VI in 1553.

The many traders sell a wide range of goods and gifts such as fruit and veg, fish, clothes, honey, jewellery, picture frames and homeware.

There are also two food court sections selling an astonishing variety of dishes from around the world including Italian pizza, indulgent beigels, Mexican burritos, Spanish paella, Chinese curries and Peruvian wraps.

As well as the twice-weekly Wednesday and Saturday Market, there is a Sunday Market held once a month and regular Antique and Vegan Markets.

NABMA, the Voice of UK Markets, is a membership organisation that has been promoting and campaigning for Markets for over 100 years.

You can enquire about trading opportunities at the Markets here.

Photos: top, Cllr Jacqui Taylor, 3rd from right, at the NABMA awards with Market Manager James Ó Nuanáin, 4th from right, and Market Officers Geeta Rebaudengo, 5th from right, and Charlotte Graham, 6th from right with NABMA officials; Market traders Paul Chilton, Asli Akkoyunoglu, Geetu Sethi and her daughter Nandika, Ertugrvl Istanbullu and Manish Panchal. 

Media Contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, 01727 819533;