Shrewsbury Market Hall has scooped a major national award, being named ‘Britain’s Favourite Market’ in the Great British Market Awards today (Thursday 25 January 2018).

The Market Hall, which has transformed massively in the last few years, was described as “an exciting and inspirational market” by judges from the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA).

Shrewsbury Market Hall, which is jointly run by Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council, was one of six UK finalists shortlisted for the coveted title of ‘Britain’s Favourite Market’.

Shrewsbury was up against markets in Barrow-in-Furness, Cambridge, Leeds Kirkgate, Norwich and Skipton. All finalists had been shortlisted in a public vote that ran through October and November. The second round of the competition involved visits by both judges and a mystery shopper.

The winner of the award and other Great British Market Awards were announced this afternoon at the NABMA One Day conference in Birmingham.

Kate Gittins, Shropshire Council’s market facilities manager, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this award and national recognition.

“We want to thank all of our stallholders for making it such a fantastic market and a big thank you also goes to everybody who voted for us.

“Shrewsbury Market Hall has undergone an incredible transformation in recent years and this award is in recognition of all the hard work by everybody who has been part of this journey.”

NABMA Chief Executive, Hilary Paxman, who was one of the judging panel members, explained:-

“Over the last 10 years Shrewsbury Market has reinvented itself, adapted and changed its offer, turning the business around using a distinctive food offer to build a local reputation. In the last three years footfall has risen by 40%, and it has put on some fantastic events which have attracted a new audience of shoppers and is making the market hall the go-to place in this market town.”

Helen Ball, town clerk for Shrewsbury Town Council, said:

“We are thrilled that Shrewsbury Market Hall has been recognised as Britain’s Favourite Market. The result bears great testimony to those who make it happen, showing outstanding customer service and a commitment to providing value for money. We are pleased that the judges were able to see for themselves what a truly fantastic market we have in Shrewsbury.”

Seb Slater, Executive Director of Shrewsbury Business Improvement District, said Shrewsbury should be proud of its vibrant and creative Market Hall:-

“On behalf of the business community in Shrewsbury we congratulate the Market Hall on this fantastic national award and achievement.

“The Market Hall is a place of genuine enterprise, creativity and community which plays an important role in the town’s life, and is a real draw for visitors. It deserves to be celebrated.”

Shrewsbury Market Hall has nearly 70 pitches. Its popularity has boomed in recent years. This was given a further boost last year when it began opening for regular Saturday night events that attracted crowds of up to 1,700 people during the course of an evening.

Kate Gittins, Helen Ball and Seb Slater, Executive Director of Shrewsbury Business Improvement District, also gave a presentation to the NABMA conference about partnership working.