A 180-year-old Lancashire market that successfully mixes the old with the new set its stall out to win a major enterprise award.
Fleetwood Market was one of 10 finalists in the annual Best of British Business Awards 2018 organised by price comparison specialist Love Energy Savings.
And it pipped York-based cufflink retailer Cuffs & Co to the hotly-contested title of ‘Best of Britain’ for the North of England, sponsored by energy companies, EDF, Scottish Power, NPower, British Gas and Opus.
Judges were impressed by how its management team had maintained a competitive edge by supporting long-established traders and new entrepreneurs.
They also highlighted the consistent efforts to ensure the market, established in 1840, remained inclusive to its customers and supported their needs. This included through an evening workshop at which traders were trained in how to support visitors with dementia.
Online reviews describe the market as “friendly, buzzing, lively and a shoppers’ delight”.
Marianne Hesketh, Director of Performance and Innovation at Wyre Council which runs the market, said: “We are very pleased to have been chosen for this recognised award for the North West region.
“We pride ourselves in maintaining our traditional Victorian market whilst embracing modern needs by catering for what our visitors want to see.
“We are very excited about receiving this award and continuing the success of Fleetwood Market.”
The Love Energy Savings Best of Britain Awards were founded four years ago to recognise forward-thinking companies or enterprises that have outshone rivals or made their local community proud.
Love Energy Savings Managing Director Phil Foster said: “I would like to congratulate Fleetwood Market on winning the Best of British Award for the North of England.
“It met all the requirements and we were particularly impressed with how it consistently supports people in it community to make a success of their business.
“Love Energy Savings has become established nationally in a relatively short space of time. I hope we enjoy success over as long a period as Fleetwood Market.”
The market is visited by around 250,000 people each year and boasts stall occupancy of 90 per cent, making it one of the most successful markets in Lancashire.
Group visits are commonplace, with approximately 10,000 people arriving on 400 coaches in 2017 – a figure expected to rise this year.
Shoppers are also encouraged to return through a loyalty card scheme and a ‘Digital Hub’ is helping local people get online and develop new IT skills.