Exploring alternative delivery models

We are keen to explore alternative delivery models for the development and management of its historic market building and is offering sessions throughout December for interested parties to visit and hold informal discussions with the market team.

The Council wants the market to achieve its potential as a thriving food and drink led destination, which plays a central role in the town’s ongoing regeneration. Our vision for the market is outlined in the current Market Strategy, and any future plans should fully align with our current strategy.

The aims of the discussions are to inform the development of a business plan and financial model that delivers new and exciting experiences for residents and visitors. We would be particularly keen to hear from potential anchor tenants, event organisers, organisations with experience of delivering socially motivated food and drink initiatives, and community organisations with experience of delivering socially led or cooperative business models.

Please email gravesend.market@gravesham.gov.uk to arrange a visit. 


  • Significant regeneration in and around the town centre, including a new development of 242 ‘build to rent’ apartments alongside the market building, opening up new footfall and an opportunity to explore the market’s role as part of a family-friendly night-time offer.
  • Links to the visitor economy through cruise liners at Tilbury (via Gravesend to Tilbury ferry operation) and leisure boat services to London.
  • High Street location with established local independent businesses, thriving local art scene and emerging experiential offer.
  • Changes in consumer and visitor expectation – desire for fresh, local produce, street food, experiential activity and entertainment.
  • The potential inclusion of a community/shared kitchen, improved seating and partial reconfiguration to host an anchor tenant could all support the future success of the market.
  • Further animation of the space through entertainment, events and greater use of the space during early evening.
  • Opportunity to use outside space on High Street to draw in footfall and raise awareness of the market’s offer.
  • Whilst ownership and overarching strategy will remain with the Council, there is a clear opportunity to:
    • Better promote and position the market’s ‘offer’ as a vibrant food and drink led destination;
    • Provide greater support to traders in order to help them promote and build their businesses

Outline of need

  • Experienced, skilled and qualified organisations committed to developing, managing and growing the market’s current offer, including fixed traders, pop-up markets and live entertainment
  • Development of a thriving town centre food and drink led destination, reflecting the existing market strategy
  • Educational activity to support healthier eating and increase cooking skills, through initiatives delivered as part of a new community kitchen
  • Healthy food and drink promoted prominently as part of a wider offer
  • Affordable options for traders and the public, supporting the cost of living and the cost of doing business
  • Demonstrate sustainable business practices that support the Council’s net zero ambitions
  • Culturally diverse programmes of activity that support all of Gravesham’s communities
  • Community led approach to governance and programming
  • Actively raise the profile and awareness of the Borough Market Building, developing a clear brand and offer


  • 22 permanent units (3x2.7m) with lockable metal roller shutters, fitted with standard metered electrics in the main hall; 8 with single extractors
  • 6 food counter units in the rear hall; all with extraction
  • Space for up to 33 pop-up trading tables (6x3ft) or single large entertainment/pop up event
  • Suitable for ticketed events outside core hours of operation
  • 3 wash-up areas: single sink at front of the market for general use; 2 food wash up kitchens at the rear (one with a single sink and one with two single sinks)
  • Toilet facilities and an accessible toilet
  • Recessed floor power points in main hall
  • Internal ceiling mounted gas heating system in main hall
  • Front, side and rear entrances
  • Small parking compound for up to 10 vehicles

Current position

  • Launch of the Market Strategy in 2020, putting food and drink at the forefront of the core offer.
  • 7 permanent food traders in place and operating. Further lettings on hold pending this review of future uses and operation models.
  • Currently open Tues-Sun, with extended operation Friday and Saturday nights until 9:30pm.

Background and History of the market

Gravesend has one of the oldest surviving markets in the country; having first been granted Royal Charter in 1268.

The market’s heyday was the bustling trade of the 1950s and 1960s, before the dominant growth of supermarkets, value stores and online shopping which significantly undermined the performance of traditional markets and, over time, other retailers within town centres.

In 2014, with funding from the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, significant refurbishment of the market building took place. The vision was for the market to operate 6 days a week with a range of permanent traders operating from secure units, complimented by daily pop up markets and street food vendors.

Gravesend Borough Market building re-opened its doors in December 2016 with a view to re-establishing the market and its full trading capabilities. The Council wants to see Gravesend Borough Market achieve its full potential by regenerating the existing offer to see this significant historical building become a successful, thriving town centre destination, which support and meets the needs of the local community.


  • Adjacent to the High Street, Gravesend, Kent DA11 0AZ.
  • Town centre location within the ‘heritage quarter’ and in close proximity to a range of specialist independent retailers.
  • Close links to the A2 motorway and easy rail connections with London via the High Speed (approx. 23 minutes to St Pancras)
  • Located near to the River Thames with regular ferry services and pleasure trips from the town pier.