Features: July 23rd, 2004

Profile: Market Manager

Public service offers a bewildering array of jobs which present an unequalled range of challenges and call for a profusion of skills. Managing market services in a local council is well away from the centre stage of public service, but in many ways is typical of the less familiar roles. So who does a job like this? What is the career progression? What contribution can be made to society? What scope is there for demonstrating drive and initiative? What achievements are possible? This profile throws some light on these questions.

Malcolm Veigas,who heads Market Services in Bradford District Council is a Catholic Indian, with a Portuguese surname. He attended St Thomas Aquinas Grammar School for boys in Leeds. Upon leaving school at 18, Malcolm began his career in local government as a Trainee Accounting Technician with Leeds City Council. Following his qualifications, in Accounting and Personnel, he worked at various Councils throughout Yorkshire in similar accountancy based roles. His first Senior Management position came as Support Service Manager for Trading Services Department in Leeds 1990, which was where he first became involved (indirectly) with Markets.

He moved into full time markets management in1993 still with Leeds City Council where, amongst other things, he took control of its Sunday Market operation. Becoming increasingly higher profile, nationally within the industry, Malcolm became Head of Markets for Kirklees Council in 1998, where a year later he successfully delivered his greatest career achievement to date, the Huddersfield International Market Festival 1999.

The project involved transforming the town centre of Huddersfield into a giant festival site with over 300 continental stallholders and 5 event sites. Over a three-day period more than 280,000 people visited the event.

Most recently Malcolm joined Bradford Council as its Head of Service (Markets), this coincided with the successful completion of his ‘Masters in Business Administration qualification (MBA)’. His work now revolves around fulfilling the potential of the markets within the Bradford District and inputting into the corporate priorities for the District as part of top management. He is now a well known figure, nationally in the industry, and has presented at national events on issues such as Best Value in Markets and is currently co-ordinating the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) response to British Food Fortnight.

Malcolm is a father of 3 children Chantelle, Anthony and Candice. He still has an active interest in sport as he still plays competitive 5-a-side football and has an ambition to go snow boarding at Christmas. Malcolm won on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ in 1992 and also has a picture of himself and Gareth Gates!

He will face a major challenge in August when the UK will play host to one of the biggest outdoor market events ever staged. This year’s International Market, which was first launched in 1994, will be returning to the UK for only the second time in its ten year history. It will be a record breaking event, becoming the first outdoor market ever to create an entire mile of markets within a city centre.

The market takes place in a different country each year with previous locations including Florence, Den Bosch, Holland, Zaragosa, Spain and Trieste in Italy. This year’s event alone is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors to the city streets of Bradford.

The event itself included over 300 market stallholders from countries all around Europe including: Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Holland and Portugal. Crowds of over 280,000 visitors descended on the town centre of Huddersfield to experience the high quality market stalls brought from every corner of Europe.

As well as a stunning array of foods, wines, crafts and other goods, professional street entertainers from the numerous different countries provided first-class entertainment and added to the festival atmosphere.

The event’s unprecedented success in Huddersfield has without doubt raised the profile of outdoor markets across the whole of the UK. Previously, continental markets were generally only seen in the South of England whereas now themed markets have sprung up all over the country including Bavarian Christmas and French markets.

Malcolm and other Council officials lobbied to bring the International market to Bradford. After a lengthy bid process the city was chosen as the location for the 2004 The team are now determined to make this year’s event the biggest and most successful ever.

Speaking about the future of markets Malcolm said: “The markets of today have to have their own special feel. It isn’t just about buying things at a good price; other more emotional issues come into play such as the ambiance and the aromas of on-street cooking. For any market it is essential to engage visitors in creating a truly unique, hands-on shopping experience. Great examples of where this works include London’s Borough market and the popular Camden market.” He continued: “Certainly markets do need to become more contemporary for the 21st Century. Using urban spaces more imaginatively in villages, towns and cities, together with diversification into popular areas such as French foods and antiques, will help secure the future of the outdoor market.”