Leeds ,

Digital skills Boost for traders at Leeds Kirkgate Market

Traders at Leeds Kirkgate Market are being given the chance to develop their digital skills by taking part in a new training programme which started today.

Working with local trainers Leeds Boost, Leeds City Council is offering a free 12-month training and support package to all traders in the market to improve their digital skills and help develop their businesses online.

The training is being tailored to help the traders reach new audiences and provide greater opportunities to promote their businesses in the digital world.

The bespoke training will include guidance on building a digital marketing plan as well as how traders can make their businesses more visible online. There will also be a variety of free workshops, face to face coaching and online video guides to help traders drive footfall to their stalls and businesses.

Despite the rich history of entrepreneurialism, local markets are not immune to the significant challenges high streets continue to face. Competition continues to grow from supermarkets, out of town shopping centres, and increasingly the rise of online stores, with digital technologies transforming how people live, work, and shop. This also presents a significant new opportunity for market traders to extend their reach to a digital audience, driving new businesses and growth.

Leeds Boost carried out a successful pilot of the programme at the market between November and January which is now being followed up with the further scheme.

Councillor Asghar Khan, Leeds City Council's deputy executive member with responsibility for markets, said:

“People like the vibrancy and community spirit offered by markets, but digital technologies are changing the way people shop. The market service ran a pilot scheme with help from 14 traders to find out the level of support needed. This valuable insight helped shape the next 12 months of support for all Leeds Kirkgate Market traders.

“Initiatives like this are about giving our market traders the right tools to unlock big opportunities. We are committed to helping traders grow their businesses and want to offer as much support as we can to evolve their digital skills in a competitive retail market.”

Traders who took part in the pilot scheme have expressed the value of what they learned in improving the promotion of their businesses.

Simon Oakley at Adam & Eco Soap Shop within Leeds Kirkgate Market said:

“Leeds Boost highlighted the importance of getting ‘with the times’ when it comes to businesses raising their profile on social media. They provided help and encouragement to expand what I was already doing and inspired me to try new things like making short video clips to promote my product.”

Tommy Cummings at Herbsville Herbal Remedy Shop within Leeds Kirkgate Market said:

“Leeds Boost helped me update my presence online which was limited, their knowledge is amazing, and they give good advice and are always available to offer help when needed. I’m really pleased that Leeds Boost will be continuing to work with the market and that everybody will be able to access this support.”

Simon McCaskill, Lead Trainer at Leeds Boost, said:

“This is a great initiative from the market team. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to go back into the market and work with the traders over the next 12 months. Digital is a tool for all, it's about tapping into what works for you and your business, and we are excited about supporting the market traders and providing them with the knowledge and skills to help them grow."


For media enquiries please contact:

Kim Regan

Leeds City Council communications and marketing,

Email: kim.regan@leeds.gov.uk

Tel: 0113 378 9181