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Brighton Open Market


Markets : Brighton Open Market

History of Brighton Open Market

The history of Brighton’s Open Market began in the 1880’s when barrow boys began selling fruit and vegetables in Oxford Street. This provided a source of cheap food to people on low incomes.

In the early 1920s, Brighton Council attempted to move the barrow boys from their Oxford Street pitches. The traders did not want to go, resulting in the ‘battle of Oxford Street’ where Harry Cowley led a mass protest against the plans. As a result the barrow boys and stall holders were given permission to trade in the central rose-walk of the Level. This continued until 1926, when the market moved to  Marshall’s Row, the beginnings of the present site.

In 1938, the houses on Marshall’s Row were demolished and several permanent market stalls were created, expanding the site. It’s success continued and in 1960 an expanded market with 42 stalls was opened by the Duke of Norfolk. Though the new market initially thrived, it suffered a slow decline in trade from the 1970s onwards.


In April 2006, the council and the Open Market Traders Association produced a business case for a new market, the end result of which you see today. The redevelopment has been achieved through a partnership approach involving the Open Market Traders, Hyde Housing Association and the City Council. The demolition of the old market enabled the creation of:

  • 45 larger permanent market stalls offering a diverse range of goods that promote fresh, healthy food and local producers
  • a new covered market square for visiting markets, temporary stalls, community activities, street art and entertainment
  • 12 small workshops for arts and crafts people and producer/retailers
  • 87 affordable housing units.

The new market is owned by the Brighton Open Market Community Interest Company (CIC), as a social enterprise for the benefit of the local community. The CIC board has representatives from the market traders, the council, The Ethical Property Company and Hyde Housing, who developed the site. There are also independent directors. The market is managed on behalf of the CIC by The Ethical Property Company.

Ethical Property Company
The Ethical Property Company is a unique social business, managing commercial property that supports the work of some of the UK’s most dynamic and influential charities and not-for-profit organisations.

With 24 owned and managed centres across England, Scotland and Wales, we provide office, event and retail space and IT support to over 1000 organisations each year.

Over the past year the Brighton Open Market site has undergone considerable redevelopment. The new mixed use site will provide an outstanding modern day market offering diverse retail activity, promoting fresh, healthy food and a platform for local producers.  The site also incorporates affordable housing, a hub for arts based crafts and a venue for street art and entertainment.

The market has been purpose built to provide a modern, fully covered, all weather trading location. The market is owned and run by the Brighton Open Market Community Interest Company (CIC) for local benefit, and will be managed by the Ethical Property Company on behalf of the CIC.

The market offers both permanent market stalls and daily hire market stalls. We are actively seeking traders who would like to apply for a stall at the Market.  We are particularly keen to hear from traders with a particular emphasis on local, Fairtrade, free range and organic produce, and other goods that demonstrate a considerate approach to the environment or contribute to reducing environmental impacts.

– For a permanent market stall application form, click here

– For a temporary market stall application form, click here

Brighton Open Market
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The redevelopment has been achieved through a partnership approach involving the Open Market Traders, Hyde Housing Association and the City Council