Leeds ,


Young entrepreneurs from across Yorkshire are setting out their stalls at Kirkgate Market in Leeds on Wednesday, 1 August, as part of a competition to find the county’s best young stallholder.

The Yorkshire Youth Market gathers together 40 traders aged between 16 and 30 who are running businesses trading on markets, festivals, and fairs across the region.

The event is run by the NMTF, the only national trade association for market and street traders in the UK, and hosted by Leeds City Council, which operates Kirkgate Market.

In May and June, the NMTF supported local authorities across Yorkshire to run a series of youth markets, providing opportunities to young people to gain experience in trading.

The best traders on these local youth markets have been nominated to represent their local areas at the Yorkshire Youth Market, battling it out for a series of industry accolades.

Ben Newton, 19, from Sheffield, runs Retro Football 99, a business selling vintage football shirts Commenting on why he trades on markets, Ben said:

“I find that markets are the best way to get my products out there. It’s great to interact with people and find out what works and what doesn’t – there’s nothing like getting face to face with customers.”

There will be representatives from Barnsley, Bradford, Doncaster, Kirklees, Leeds, Rotherham, Sheffield, Wakefield, and York – as well as a few wild cards thrown into the mix.

Live music from local performers will be played throughout the day and there will be plenty of family-friendly activities, such as free arts and crafts and trails around the market.

To celebrate God’s Own County, between 12 noon and 1pm there will be a World Record Attempt for the most flat-caps in one place. This attempt is sponsored by Chip & PIN Solutions Ltd.

At the end of the event, one young trader will be crowned Yorkshire’s Young Trader of the Year and three Highly Commended trophies will be awarded. Judging will be by markets industry experts.

At least one trader from every area will be offered a pitch on the National Youth Market in Stratford-upon-Avon on 31 August and 1 September. A £500 prize is up for grabs.

Joe Harrison, chief executive of the NMTF, said: “The event is a real demonstration of the potential of the region’s markets to support young entrepreneurs to test, grow, and launch a lean business.

“Yorkshire is leading the way in the UK – this event is the first of its kind in the country. Market operators have come together to support young traders with enthusiasm and professionalism.”

Cllr Khan, deputy executive member with responsibility for markets at Leeds City Council, said “Leeds is proud to host the inaugural Yorkshire Youth Market in our award-winning Kirkgate Market.

“As we celebrate our region on Yorkshire Day, I encourage as many people as possible to visit the market and get behind our finest young entrepreneurs – don’t forget your flat cap!”

The Yorkshire Youth Market takes place on Wednesday, 1 August, at Kirkgate Market, Leeds, from 10am to 4pm. More information about be found online at https://www.nmtf.co.uk/yoyoma.



Photo / Interview Opportunities at the Yorkshire Youth Market

  • 10am – Market opens; 40 of the finest young traders from across Yorkshire!
  • 12 noon to 1pm – World Record Attempt for the most flat caps in one place (only over 18s counted)
  • 3:45pm to 4pm – Awards given for Young Trader of the Year and 3 x Highly Commended


Interviews with Organisers

  • Joe Harrison, Chief Executive, NMTF – to request an interview, please contact Chris Savage, Projects Manager, NMTF (chris.savage@nmtf.co.uk, 07807 728 574, 01226 352 804)

  • Cllr Khan, deputy executive member with responsibility for markets, Leeds City Council – to request an interview please contact Kim Regan, Communications and Marketing, Leeds Markets (, 07712 215 715, 0113 378 9181)

Interviews with Traders – to request an interview, please contact Chris Savage, Projects Manager, NMTF (chris.savage@nmtf.co.uk, 07807 728 574, 01226 352 804)

  • Barnsley – Emily Roberts, 22, Emi B Designs (IG @emibdesigns)

  • Bradford – Emma Hardcastle, 26, Curious Cat Books (IG @erachaelhardcastle)

  • Doncaster – Emily Kitchen, 25, Em & J’s Candle and Craft Quest (IG @candlecraftquest)

  • Kirklees – Bex Grimwood, 25, Cloudy Cactus (IG @cloudycactuscards)

  • Leeds – Benjamin Newton, 19, Retro Football 99 (IG @retrofootball99)

  • Rotherham – Lauren Charlton, 27, Yorkshire Print (IG @theyorkshireprint)

  • Sheffield – Ermes Dante, 26, Eras Chocolates (IG @eraschocolate)

  • Wakefield – Gareth Savage, 25, Sareth Gavage Art (IG @sareth_gavage_art)

  • York – Emma Ayris-Rogers, 30, Blathnat Jewellery (IG @blathnatjewellery)

Yorkshire Youth Markets

  • Yorkshire Youth Markets is a family of markets that aim to support young people across Yorkshire to test out, launch, and grow a business.

  • The NMTF is helping to coordinate the Yorkshire Youth Markets initiative through the Yorkshire Markets Forum, which includes officers from the following market authorities: Barnsley MBC, City of Bradford MDC, Doncaster MBC, Kirklees MDC, Leeds CC, Rotherham MBC, Sheffield CC, Wakefield MDC, and Make It York.

  • It is a collaborative approach to nurturing young talent in Yorkshire, advocating market trading as a business model, and encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to trade in the region’s traditional retail markets.

  • It’s basically a series of heats. First off, a local youth market. Then, the regional final – the Yorkshire Youth Market in Kirkgate Market, Leeds, on Yorkshire Day, 1 August.

  • Finally, the national event is in Stratford-upon-Avon, the National Youth Market, on 31 August and 1 September. With over 80 pitches available, this event a showcase of young talent in the sector. It is run by the NMTF in partnership with LSD Promotions.

  • < > #yoyoma18

    Founded in 1899 as the National Market Traders Federation, the NMTF is the only national trade association for market and street traders, events retailers and mobile caterers in the UK. It is based in Barnsley, Yorkshire.

  • The NMTF has around 20,000 members across the UK who trade on markets, festivals and fairs. Membership includes liability protection, legal and financial advice, and access to guidance on any business matter.

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For more information contact Chris Savage, Projects Manager, NMTF (chris.savage@nmtf.co.uk, 01226 352 804, 07807 728 574)