Date of release: Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Christmas MarketsA new approach to make traditional markets in ailing high streets a tourism centrepiece is being devised with University of Greenwich expertise and a £3.4 million grant from the European Union.

The four-year project, GO TRADE, will support markets and town centres in Great Yarmouth, Gravesend, Castle Point and Basildon as well as some in northern France.

The idea is to host themed events while supporting existing weekly high street markets as well as speciality ones, such as Christmas markets. The scheme will look to build sustainable businesses by extending the diversity of the products and services offered by markets. This in turn will improve the overall shopping experience for visitors and residents.

Dr Andres Coca-Stefaniak, Senior Lecturer at the University of Greenwich and a member of the Tourism Research Centre group, is working with a cross-disciplinary team of researchers led by Dr Petros Ieromonachou, Director of the Connected Cities Research Group.

Dr Coca-Stefaniak says: "We all love markets as places to interact with others, try exciting street food, buy affordable good-quality produce and maybe the odd gift.

"This is a great opportunity for the university to support traditional local markets, while researching what visitors and residents value in them. We can also experiment with markets to become platforms for innovation for new generations of entrepreneurs across Europe.

"We will be doing some exciting research and also helping local authorities, tourism agencies and market trader associations across Europe to develop markets that are fit for the rapidly-changing visitor economy of the 21st century."

GO TRADE is co-funded by the EU's Interreg VA cross-border (England-France) programme. This success is the culmination of nearly two years' work by Jerry Allen and Dr. Coca-Stefaniak, with support from Gunilla Edwards (Basildon Borough Council) and the university's i3 Centre. This is a dedicated unit which supports and promotes entrepreneurship for students, graduates and staff in the university.

For more on the university's Business School:

For more information on the GO TRADE project:


Story by Public Relations