Westminster's street markets adapt to survive

Council chiefs have been talking with traders and residents in Westminster about how street markets can continue to thrive in the future.

More than 900 people have been giving their feedback on what they want to see happen over the coming months and years to reverse the long-term decline of their local markets. Among suggestions were a growing of diversity of stallholders and stalls, introduction of cashless payments and special events to take place. Councillor David Harvey remarked 'we can't afford to stand still, people's shopping habits have changed and the markets need to adapt'.

Among the challenges facing markets are a decline of traditional markets for everyday shopping, competition from privately operated markets, continuing rise in street food over traditional stalls and increase in online shopping with decline in high street footfall. Following on from the consultation, Westminster City Council now plans to start improvements at five of its street markets: Berwick Street, Church Street, Maida Hill, Strutton Ground and Tachbrook Street.