Chiswick Flower Market today publishes its review into its progress made in 2021 and sets out its plans for an exciting 2022.
The 8 markets that could be operated in 2021 managed to attract more than 60,000 visitors to what has become known as the “Columbia Road of the West”. There were more than 60 different traders at the markets, with 65% of them locally based and 75% of them new businesses
The market’s high sustainability ethos meant that all plastic bags were banned, 150 deliveries were made by cargo bike and some of the surpluses were used to plant 570 shrubs and 2,000 bulbs around the market.
Ollie Saunders said “We always wanted to have a rich mix of different traders ranging from local start-up businesses to established and well-known traders including RHS Gold Winners Jacques Amand and Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, plus traders from other markets including Columbia Road. Around 75% of what is sold is grown or produced in the UK and we have worked with our traders to reduce the use of peat”
“We want to increase the number of British grown flowers and are working with growers to find ways to bring the highest quality of seasonal, sustainable, locally grown flowers to our market”
As social distancing rules were reduced in 2021, the market was able to experiment with street entertainment, with 17 acts including stilt-walkers, fire-eaters, jazz musicians, tap dances, school choirs and the local rock choir.
The organisation also published details of its finances in 2021. Total revenue was £20,000 in the year, with operating costs of £8,000. The surplus of £12,000 is being invested back in the local area including £3,500 which were used to replant the flower beds of Chiswick High Road.
Kath Mitra said “As the market gets into a financially stable footing, we will be able to invest more into the market and the local area based on need assessments – we invested in improving the planting around the High Road and have funding available for other ideas. We would welcome any suggestions on this.”
“We want to play our part in reducing the horticultural industry’s use of virgin plastic and so will be launching a plastic pot recycling scheme at our market on Sunday 6 February. Customers will have a place to drop off used plant pots which will be used again – either by other visitors who can collect them or by our traders who will use them for plants they will be selling in our market later in the year”
The market also announces today its plans for 2022. As well as the plastic pot recycling scheme, the market will he holding a Queen’s Jubilee Market on the June bank holiday weekend, to invest in marketing Chiswick as a destination with larger marketing and PR budgets, to develop its reputation as a venue for street entertainment, to introduce more British grown flowers and some new independent traders and to co-fund improvements to the public realm”
Karen Liebreich said “We have an exciting 2022 planned and will continue our close collaboration with businesses and the London Borough of Hounslow. Data from TfL’s cameras showed that footfall on a flower market Sunday in Chiswick High Road was 70% higher than a non-market Sunday. Our surveys also show that 54% of our visitors were from outside the immediate W4 area and 22% of all visitors had travelled more than 5kms to visit us. The market has developed its own vibe and we are excited and energised as we start our 2022 season.”
The next Chiswick Flower Market will be on Sunday 6th February and is held on the first Sunday of every month throughout the year except January.