First Bus York Partner with Make It York on plans to Reinvigorate Shambles Market

A new partnership between First Bus York and Make It York has been set up to invest in the future of Shambles Market and create a “destination magnet” that attracts more visitors through highlighting a mix of local artisan and traditional vendors plus entertainment. 

The partnership’s plan to support York’s diverse array of independent market traders will see a vibrant and modern look for the market, new creative marketing promotions and regular pop-up events.  

Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York and John Godfrey, Marketing Director at First Bus York © Gareth Buddo

As one of the city’s greatest assets, Shambles Market is the home to York’s largest group of independent traders – offering an eclectic mix of fresh produce, crafts, flowers, gift ideas, clothing and much more. This includes long-standing produce traders such as John Mannion Greengrocers (whose family have been trading on the market since 1906), local artists such as Ipso Facto Art, ethical soap company Janurelle, Zazen Boutique jewellery and an array of other independent small businesses.  

The Shambles Market Food Court is also home to some of the city’s finest street food vendors – including indie businesses such as Taylor Made Kitchen, The Doghouse, Shambles Kitchen, Los Moros, Pizzoli and more.  

The partnership with First Bus York is sparked by an ambition to enhance Shambles Market’s reputation as a ‘must-see’ destination for residents and visitors to the city and highlight the unique blend of quirky independent businesses and quality produce available on the market.  

First Bus York also supported the Young Market Trader competition earlier this summer. The event saw 20 year-old Millie Thomas with her cake business ‘Sweet Treats by Mil’ going forward to the regional finals of the National Young Market Trader competition and receiving a free pitch on the market for a year. 

Now, through the partnership, a vibrant refresh of the market branding is underway with new colourful signage at the entrance and on the stalls. This will emphasise the importance of supporting York businesses and shopping local.  

Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York and John Godfrey, Marketing Director at First Bus York with Love Local sign © Gareth Buddo

A new short film has also been created to promote the quality local produce available in the market. Under a ‘Field to Fork’ theme the video showcases how the market’s fresh products are used by businesses across the city to deliver a quality customer experience. The video features trader Sheila’s Greengrocers as they collect fresh strawberries each morning which are then used on food court trader KREP’s delicious crepes .  

A series of pop-up events are in plan to be introduced to the Market. This included a new ‘Vintage Market’ event this week (31st August) which showcased a range of local vintage traders from around the city including Books for Amnesty, Angela Bare, Sue Ryder, Syd Comerford Antiques and Panayis Cult Art Prints. Bringing together a range of retro, collectable and quirky products, the ‘Vintage Market’ event proved popular with residents and visitors alike, offering something for everyone’s taste, style and price point.  

A special ‘Night Market’ will also take place on the evening of 17th September in partnership with York Creatives. The event will see a range of independent traders, street food, drinks and music coming to the market, with free entry for all.  

John Godfrey, Head of Marketing at First Bus York, said:

“We’re here to connect customers to great experiences on the streets of York and Shambles Market will become a destination magnet to draw in local people and visitors to discover a special atmosphere for shopping and relaxing that entices them into the heart of the city.” 

Ashley Young, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager at Make It York said: 

“Shambles Market is home to so many incredibly creative and talented businesses – from long established traders who have been on the market for decades to young entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Our ambition is to work alongside our traders and fantastic partners like First Bus York to grow and develop Shambles Market into one of the most celebrated markets in the country and enhance its reputation as a destination in its own right.  

The market offers a truly unique experience for residents and visitors and we are looking forward to developing plans over the coming months to promote it as a world-class destination and support our family of traders.”  

Kevin Touhy Chair of York Market Traders Forum and Owner of Bags of Style said

“The Shambles Market traders welcome the time and support that First Bus have put into promoting the market so excellently. Working together we hope that the market will continue to grow in stature and become an integral part of any York experience for both tourists and locals alike. “ 

For more information about Shambles Market visit 


For further information please contact:  

Ana Ignatova – Communications Executive  

Notes to editors: 

About Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our four corporate strategic priorities.  These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Inward Investment and network building 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

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