An appeal last year raised £56,000 – including £30,000 from the Mayor of London – to establish the market and finance the first year’s operation.
Local students and teenagers will get the chance on the first Saturday of every month to run their own stalls and stage events from around 4pm to 7pm, taking over once the regular fruit and vegetable market has finished.
“Get Ready!” is the promotional slogan for what will be a free platform for young people to showcase their creative talents.
“Want to sell your goods – or your music? Trade or perform for free – if you are between 13 and 23.”
The purchase of the twenty stalls, at a cost of £12,000, is the first expenditure from the appeal money – and more purchases of equipment are planned to fit out the site and create a performance stage for music and other events.
“We still have some way to go to get all the arrangements in place, but our aim is to launch the market on Easter Saturday.
If that’s not possible, it will open on the following Saturday, and from then on it will be held on the first Saturday of every month,” said Bob Burstow, Secretary of the Town Team, who organised last year’s successful appeal.
Mr Burstow is highly encouraged by the support being offered by local schools and colleges: Barnet and Southgate College, the Universities of Hertfordshire and Middlesex, Queen Elizabeth’s Girls’ School and Totteridge Academy have all promised to take stalls.
Barnet College is planning to take all the stalls at the May market (5.5.2018) and Totteridge Academy is interested in taking on the market on one Saturday in the autumn.
Mr Burstow said that initially the bandstand would be used for staging music and other performances but depending on the level of support the Town Team might invest in a separate stage and the bandstand might be used for a café area.
A longer-term possibility is for the market site to be extended to include the land on the other side of the Spires service road, a garden area currently laid out with benches.
Friends of Barnet Market – who have campaigned for many years to safeguard Barnet’s historic stalls market – hope the teenage market will help boost custom.
Their organiser Chris Nightingale says they are waiting to hear more from the Spires management about plans to move the stalls market from its St Albans Road site to the bandstand site, hopefully to coincide with the start of the teenage market.
“We know the Spires does envisage moving the stalls market to the bandstand in time for Easter and we know the Spires is also thinking about taking over the management of the land by the bus stop, and we await further details,” said Mr Nightingale.
Keep up to date with news about Barnet’s teenage market at www.TheTeenageMarket.co.uk; on Twitter @TeenMart_Barnet and on Facebook @teenmartbarnet