About Acton Market

Market History in Acton

There is a long history to Acton Market with a Market in Acton since medieval times.

The 1920s and 1930s were probably the greatest times for shopping in Acton. In Crown Street, there was an open market and a substantial covered market hall built and owned by the Poore family, who operated a large ironmongers business in the High Street.

Sadly, Acton’s Crown Street Market shrank to a small number of Stalls and eventually closed. The Crown Street GP surgery and a Pharmacy was built on the old Market site.

Acton then did not have any Market at all for many years.

Acton Market in Crown Street

How Action West London’s Street Market Began

In 2005 Action West London, a charity and social enterprise (formerly known as Action Acton) piloted some ‘one off’ Markets. This was in response to consultation with local people who said they wanted a Market brought back in the community. The suggestion it would be located on the newly renovated ‘square’-the Mount so the modern Acton Market history starts.

Action Acton then submitted a bid to the London Development Agency under the Town Centre regeneration theme. The bid was to develop a street market. As well as to provide a range of business support and physical improvements in Acton. The Core objectives of the proposed Market were:

  • (i) to bring life and community spirit back into Acton town centre
  • (ii) to make the community  safer by reducing anti- social behaviour in the area
  • (iii) to provide opportunities for local people to set up in self- employment
  • (iv) to promote community cohesion and
  • (v)  to provide a public space where all parts of Acton’s diverse communities could meet together.  

Market gets the funding

Action West London’s bid for 3 years grant funding was successful.

The funding covered a range of regeneration, business support, business start-up and development projects including starting up and developing a Street Market.  Action Acton was one of only 5 organisations in London under the Town centre regeneration theme to have its bid approved.

The former Mayor Ken Livingstone said at the time that:

“London’s dynamism is a direct result of the communities of people who live here. So often, the best ideas for what a community really needs come from the people themselves. This fund recognises that and will harness the tremendous ability, enthusiasm, creativity and ingenuity of groups throughout the capital to deliver real benefits to those people who need it most.”

London Development Agency chief executive Manny Lewis said:

“From the many excellent applications that we received; we have sought to select projects that will have the greatest impact in disadvantaged communities. As well as helping us boost the urban environment, this fund will have a major impact on local economies and the lives of thousands of Londoners. I am especially pleased by the number of projects being led by the voluntary sector and by minority groups, and I hope these types of partnerships will continue to increase.”

Ealing Council revamped The Mount pedestrianised area outside St Mary’s Church, The Post Office and Morrisons supermarket and supported Action Acton’s work on establishing and developing the Market.

Videos of Acton Market in 2010 and 2011

When the LDA grant funding ended Action Acton was determined to keep this valuable community resource going. It was run it as a social enterprise.  Although at times Action Acton charity then had to cover deficits in running the Market it persisted in its support. The Market now runs 4 days a week, 45 weeks of the year. This is despite the difficulties and challenges produced by the weather!

Action West London runs the market as a successful social enterprise. If a surplus income is generated, it goes back into the charity. This will support Action West London with its work with disadvantaged, unemployed young people and adults.

Over the years and the Market has won several awards. There has been considerable interest (from within the UK and internationally) in Action West London’s community Market ‘model’.

We would like to thank Ealing Council and all the traders and shoppers who have supported the Market over the years. The market is such a valuable resource for Acton Town centre and the local community.

Acton Market 2007-2017: A decade of activity that’s made a Big Difference in Acton

By Susanne Hickmott Read this article from the Churchfield Community Association (CCA) Newsletter Issue 44, Spring 2017

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