Islington Council have turned to local colleges to inject youth and vitality into their efforts to support independent small businesses and markets. On May 1, representatives from the Inclusive Economy Team at Islington Council attended a workshop at the centre to explain the vinyl market project and the council’s aims. Students will be expected to develop a logo and a campaign to promote the vinyl market that will take place on Navigator Square, Archway on 30 June. The guest speakers pointed out that vinyl records have seen a 407% sales increase in the last four years, and identified Navigator Square as the perfect venue to host a vinyl market.
“These days, it’s much more convenient to go online and do your shopping. What we’ve found is that successful market stalls thrive on selling unique items and experiences that you can’t get elsewhere. A vinyl pressing has a warmth that you can’t capture as a download, and that presents an opportunity.”
Working in groups, the team with the best logo design and promotion plan will work with the council to put their plan into action. Judging the ideas took place on 15 May, and the winning team will be announced before 25 May. The winning team will receive tickets to a gig at the Islington Assembly Hall (Islington Council’s very own music venue) with all logos submitted being turned into keyrings for students to keep. All students are invited to play a part in the Vinyl Market by running a merchandise stall on the day of the event, Sunday 30 June.
Market Development Officer Parris Langridge supports the growth of markets in the borough as the Council aims to keep things local and affordable. “We do hope the students take something from this and come along to the market. This project is the idea of colleague, Barry Causton, and we hope to see it continue after the competition. Getting students from creative colleges involved in potentially creating a new market is great.
“It’s a learning process for us, too. I’m taking something back from the students that will help in my work, finding out what’s relevant to them. I see a lot of fresh ideas and a positive attitude, which is nice to see.”
Business lecturer Maxine French said: “The students have enjoyed working on it. It’s brought out their creative sides. They have the opportunity to design think through a project from concept to implementation. The fact that it’s a competition and with the possibility to win and have their logo made is getting them to work well together in teams.”
The project follows a move to include vocational activity in all business assessments at the Centre for Business, Arts and Technology as the college cements existing relationships with local enterprises. Business students recently benefitted from pitching practice with the London Village Network and the Big Alliance, based at the centre. Ten students also had the opportunity to work with Nationwide and creative agency VCCP on an Ideas Foundation sponsored marketing project.