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Ay-Up! the Independents’ Market is back in Nottingham.


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The magnificent old Market Square is back on the tabs and will once again play host to over 55 vendors at this year’s Ay-UpMarket, the Nottingham City Council has announced.

In a media statement, the City Council has confirmed that after the success of last year’s event, the Ay-UpMarket will return to the city from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 June 2023.

Many traders and market visitors are excited with the upcoming market dates.

Josephine Blackburn, a freequent market visitor said: “I enjoy going to the Market Square market for a burger. It’s nice and it feels great to be deep in the city centre and have fun.”

Organised by It’s in Nottingham and Nottingham City Council, the market gives Nottingham-based independent retailers and creatives, both bricks and mortar and online, a unique trading platform which will highlight the city’s fantastic independents.

A previous market at the market square

Alex Flint, CEO of It’s in Nottingham said: “The market proved really popular last year and played an important role in bringing people into the city centre from miles around.

“People who visited also went on to explore the wider city which was a great boost for businesses.”

Curated by Pitch Presents, visitors can expect to see freshly baked goods, sweet treats, fine wine, vintage clothing, plants, skin care, arts, crafts, and handmade jewellery available from local independent retailers over the three days.

Some of the popular businesses taking part include Shop Zero, Slow Make Studio, Soul and Flare, Taste First, Treat Kitchen, Megan Crook Textiles, Sap Plants and Hallo Ceramics.

Alongside the market stalls, the event will also include a full programme of exciting live music and family-friendly performances, collectively arranged by local creative studio, Mimm, and Phlexx Records, in collaboration with DHP Family.

The Carousel will be hosting creative workshops over the weekend, and visitors can enjoy street performances from City Arts and Can Samba, among others.

Sumptious food is in the waiting.

Food and drink from Nottingham Street Food Club will be on offer with global flavours taking centre stage, with cuisines from Caribbean to Thai represented within Old Market Square.

“Food Traders include Prad Thai, Yello Yard, Carolina’s Chilli and MemSaab.

On Monday 19 June, the Nottingham Jobs Fair will also be taking place between 10am-2pm at Old Market Square.

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “Last year’s Ay-UpMarket was a huge success, and we’re delighted to be able to bring it back for a second year in partnership with It’s in Nottingham.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to visit the city centre and discover Nottingham’s fantastic independent traders.”

He added: “Alongside the variety of market stalls, I’m also looking forward to the range of family-friendly entertainment on offer.”

It was like this last time and it looks like it is going to be better this time around.

Heather Kirk from Hallo Ceramics is excited to be taking part in the event as an independent trader. Her stall offers handmade, colourful and statement ceramics.

Heather commented: “Last year’s Ay-UpMarket exceeded all our expectations and we are totally blown away by how amazing the entire weekend was.”

“To be a part of such a strong, flourishing and welcoming community of Nottingham’s independent makers is something we truly treasure. As an independent trader at the market, it was without a doubt one of the most successful markets we’ve ever done.”

She added: “The footfall was incredible, the atmosphere was consistently positive and bustling and not to mention the comments we received about our products.

“Since last year’s market, I’ve had lots of people attend my workshops after meeting me at the Ay-UpMarket. I’m really looking forward to meeting more people and making new friends this year.”

Ay Up!

The Ay-UpMarket has received £30,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Ay-UpMarket has been developed by It’s in Nottingham in partnership with Nottingham City Council.

According to the City Council, Nottingham traders were encouraged to apply for a stall or space.

“The call for pitches was open to any traders regardless of how long they had been operating for or if they were online or had a store,” reads in part the statement.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025.

The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and places, supporting local business, and people and skills.

“The market proved really popular last year and played an important role in bringing people into the city centre from miles around.”

Alex Flint
CEO of It’s in Nottingham

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