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Academics to Play Key Role in Market Transformation

Scarborough Market Hall

University of Hull academics are set to play an integral role in the redevelopment of Scarborough's iconic Market Hall, thanks to a grant from the Coastal Communities Fund, administered by the Big Lottery Fund.

Dr Marcjanna Augustyn, Professor Steve Johnson of Hull University Business School and Dr Darren Mundy, Head of the University's School of Drama, Music and Screen, are working closely with Scarborough Borough Council to develop an online market intelligence system and shopping platform, opening the traditional market place up to the digital age.

This online experience will complement the complete refurbishment of the Market Hall’s physical structure, which will create space for 30 new artisan businesses and around 60 jobs and apprenticeships.

Dr Augustyn comments:
"The Business School has a long history of working with Scarborough Borough Council and we are excited to be working on this joint project. With the online shopping platform, we hope to develop a virtual Scarborough local market, working on a similar model to Amazon – one site and payment point but different suppliers, making it more customer friendly."

"However, perhaps the more exciting development for the long term is the online market intelligence system. The aim here is to ensure sustainability of local businesses and show their positive contribution to economic growth in the town."

"It will give instant access to a wide range of information and analysis to support local business decision making, particularly in the areas of pricing, product innovation and marketing development, helping businesses to monitor their environment and therefore performance."

The online presence will enable market traders to sell their produce to consumers for home delivery, working with local delivery firms, or a 'click and collect' option. The idea is that once established, this network will be opened up to other local businesses and networks, such as Scarborough-based Totally Locally.

Nick Taylor, Investment Manager at Scarborough Borough Council says:

"To have the University of Hull partnering us in this project brought some excellent added weight to the application and, when it is fully functional, will make a massive difference for both traders and customers. With increasing enthusiasm to ensure the good provenance of food that people buy, and also the desire to support local suppliers, this is such an important project for the town."

"We are developing a 21st Century Market Place, and our partnership with the University of Hull is going to play a large part in realising that vision."

Once the project is completed, a social enterprise will be set up to look after the systems and ensure their longevity.

Dr Augustyn says:

"This is an exciting venture for everyone involved, to bring shopping at Scarborough Market Hall up-to-date, creating new jobs in the process."

Main image:  © Copyright phillip andrew carl taylor and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Academics to Play Key Role in Market Transformation Reviewed by Editor on 20:22:00 Rating: 5

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