Budding business owners get chance to trade on Kirkgate Market

A number of free pitches on the open market at Kirkgate Market are being offered to budding small business owners who want to make their mark in trading.

Leeds Kirkgate Market has teamed up with the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs in Leeds to start up a business on the market.

Through a scheme called First Pitch, which is supported by Leeds City Council, small businesses owners of the future can trade on the open market for up to 12 months at discounted rent and are given personalised support from the NMTF.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member for development and the economy said:

“The open market is an important place for new businesses start-ups and offers people the chance to try out trading to see if it works for them. A great example of this is M&S who have just returned to their roots in the market.

“We want to encourage entrepreneurs across the city to start-up businesses and this scheme is a great way of doing that. I wish all the participants well in their first experience of trading on the market.”

Joe Harrison, Chief Executive of the NMTF, said:

“Many of our well-known brands started life on the markets and we know many people want to take that leap into starting their own business – First Pitch will give you the support you need to bring a product or service to the market.

“If you’re selected as a Finalist, you are given free membership of the NMTF, a free copy of a market trader training guide and a mentor, someone who has a wealth of business and market trading experience. Interested applicants need to apply by 19th April via www.nmtf.co.uk.”

First Pitch is open to UK residents over 16 with less than six months experience of market trading.


Notes to editors:


• Joe Harrison, Chief Executive of the National Market Traders Federation, is available for interview. Please contact Chris Savage, Projects Manager at the National Market Traders Federation on 01226 352804 or chris.savage@nmtf.co.uk to arrange.

About First Pitch

• Candidates are asked to submit an idea for a product or service that they think they can sell at their local market. Closing date for entries is 19th April 2013. To submit entry please visit www.nmtf.co.uk

• There are three stages to First Pitch scheme

o Stage 1: Successful applicants will be offered up to five free days of market trading on a local market, during ‘Love Your Local Market’ (from 15th to 29th May), during which time, one of the judges from the national panel will visit and assess the trader on sales, customer feedback and stall presentation.

o Stage 2: Shortly after the free period of trading, the judges will draw up a shortlist of up to 100 traders all over the UK. These 100 traders will then be given the opportunity to trade on a market stall for a further 12 months with full support from the NMTF. They will start out at a reduced rent — 50% of the full rent to start with, gradually increasing on a sliding scale to 100% by the end of the year. The traders will also be appointed a mentor who will work with the finalists throughout the year, keeping in regular contact with them, offering support and checking progress.

o Stage 3: A Markets Master Class and Award Ceremony will be held in May 2014. One trader will be awarded £2,000 in cash to grow their business due to outstanding achievement over the 12 months.

• Shortlisted candidates receive a year’s full NMTF membership (worth £102), including business insurance, and a complimentary copy of ‘NMTF First’ (worth £100), which is filled with practical advice and training on how to set up a market stall.

• First Pitch is judged on a points system, awarded for certain criteria including quality of product, its suitability to the area and market type, the visual display known as ‘the flash’ and the general attitude of the trader.


• The National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) is the leading trade body for the markets industry in the UK. Representing about 30,000 market traders in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the NMTF provides unrivalled business insurance, political representation and training programmes to market traders throughout the UK. The NMTF is headquartered in Hoyland, Barnsley, South Yorkshire.


For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk