High Street Recovery Fund


Much of what we do at Tree Shepherd is helping individuals achieve their self-employment goals, but we also lead in or take part in some truly vital projects that help support our wider community. One of these projects is the High Street Recovery Fund, which we have been able to access to create our Thrive Market.

We all know that our high streets are struggling. Over the last 10 years people have been increasingly moving to the internet to shop, the pandemic and the rising costs of business rates has meant that many retailers have been pushed off the high street.

Last year we facilitated a series of market style events in the Surrey Quays Shopping Centre with British Land. Our goal was to not only promote black-led and women-owned businesses, but to drive traffic into the shopping centre to help ensure our town centre, and high streets remain vibrant and prosper.

These markets were an opportunity for small and micro businesses to gain the visibility they need, sell their produce and learn more about trading operations.

Short-term, the businesses have seen an increase in their revenues, and long-term is an awareness of these varied and exciting businesses that will sustain them well into the future.

So how did it go?

Overall we supported a total of 51 businesses and entrepreneurs start-ups. Competition to secure a stall was fierce, with many re-booking spaces after the first event for the remaining markets.

We had a really lovely mix of traders with face painters, handmade children’s clothes, upcycled gifts, botanists, handmade jewelry, candles and much more.

Don’t just take our word for it

The feedback across the board has been positive and encouraging. During the markets, we spoke with traders to learn more about their produce, intake and challenges. Here is what they’ve said:

‘’The event was great and would love to do them as regularly as possible’’

”The event was a pleasure to be part of. It was very well organised, and the setting was ideal. The organiser was friendly and very interactive giving advice to improve the presentation. I am encouraged and enthusiastic to participate in Thrive’s events. Thank you for the opportunity.”

Tree Shepherd may have facilitated these events but the stars of the markets have been the traders themselves.

Are you interested in selling at one of our market events? Or would you like to attend to support a fantastic group of small businesses? If so then here’s your chance-

We have more markets planned for

  •  Saturday 25th February 2023
  •  Saturday 25th March 2023
  •  Saturday 29th April 2023
  •  Saturday 27th May 2023
  •  Saturday 24th June 2023

For more information or to register please email jamie-lee@treeshepherd.org.uk.