Decision details

Leeds Kirkgate Market Strategy 2021-2026

Reference: D52908

Decision Maker: Executive Board

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To agree with the strategic direction of the market over the next five years. This will impact on the communities it serves, as well as the businesses within the market itself.


The Director of City Development submitted a report which presented the proposed 2021 – 2026 Kirkgate Market Strategy for Members’ consideration. The report and the appended strategy provided details of the market’s current situation, one that showed significant investment and commitment to the market by a range of partners, but also which highlighted the fact that the market was operating in the most challenging retail environment that the UK had seen for many years.


In presenting the submitted strategy and covering report the Executive Member highlighted a number of points including the key role that the market played in Leeds’ city centre offer, the investment which continued to be made to the market’s infrastructure and the ongoing support for traders, which included the provision of a rent discount scheme. Members also received an update on the market’s occupancy levels, and the innovative work being undertaken with the aim of increasing the customer base. Emphasis was also placed upon the flexible approach which was required in order to enable the market to adapt to the challenging retail environment.


Responding to a Member’s enquiries, the Board was provided with details on the collaborative approach which continued to be taken with traders. Also, it was undertaken that the market’s offer would be monitored so that it could be adapted, as appropriate, in response to the evolving retail environment and customer demands and habits. 


In response to a Member’s enquiry regarding the market and the Council’s prudential borrowing, it was noted that a programme of works on the market in 2014/15 had been supported by prudential borrowing. Also, it was noted that the Council’s Capital Programme, as approved by full Council in February 2021, did include provision of £7.17m towards further maintenance works at the market, which would have a borrowing implication. Officers undertook to provide further detail on such matters to the Member in question, however, in conclusion, it was highlighted to the Board that although the Council’s levels of prudential borrowing would have an effect on the Authority’s overall financial position, it had no direct impact upon traders or matters such as rent levels. 


Members discussed and received further information regarding the development of the market in line with the strategy, and ensuring that its offer remained sustainable and inclusive.



(a)  That the content of the Leeds Kirkgate Market Strategy, as appended to the submitted report, be noted; and that the Council’s commitment to Leeds Kirkgate Market be reaffirmed, with the detailed actions contained within the strategy document being agreed, in order to achieve the five year strategy 2021-2026;


(b)  That agreement be given that the strategy must remain flexible throughout this period in order to allow the market service to adapt to the changing nature of retail on the high street and recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic;


(c)  That it be noted that the Chief Officer (Operations) and the Head of Markets will be responsible for the implementation of the actions arising from the Strategy, in accordance with the timescales contained within it.


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Wards Affected: Burmantofts and Richmond Hill; Little London and Woodhouse;

Portfolio Holder: Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment

Other reasons / organisations consulted

Consultation took place on an initial draft strategy with the markets management board, followed by trader representatives and market officers. Trader working groups were established and views input into the final draft document. This was shared with all traders prior to a full trader meeting to discuss the document,


Following this, traders sent in their views before the final document was developed and presented to the Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment and the Management Board.


Executive Member for Learning, Skills and Employment, Indoor and Outdoor Market traders, Market trader representatives, Market service team, and the Market Management Board.

Contact: Steve Mason, Markets Manager 0113 378 9071 Email:

Report author: Steve Mason

Publication date: 22/03/2021

Date of decision: 17/03/2021

Decided at meeting: 17/03/2021 - Executive Board

Effective from: 27/03/2021

Accompanying Documents: