Helping Wakefield Council review its Markets Service for future improvements through stakeholder engagement

Wakefield district residents interviewed by telephone

Surveys completed online and in paper format by Wakefield district residents

Focus groups moderated with Markets Service staff and college students


Wakefield Council operated six markets across the district. Recent years had been extremely challenging for market traders due to changing shopping habits and the COVID-19 pandemic. Wakefield Council wanted to understand how markets in the district could recover from the difficulties and attract new customers and traders, while retaining the existing customer and trader base.

Listening to the views and experiences of those who use and trade at markets and those who work for the Markets Service was crucial to help Wakefield Council identify the current issues and work on possible improvements based on the feedback provided.

Wakefield Council commissioned Enventure Research to develop, conduct and analyse a programme of engagement with Markets Service stakeholders to feed into the review of the service.


Enventure Research adopted a mixed-methodology approach. This included an interviewer-led telephone survey with 800 Wakefield district residents aged 18+ with quotas to provide a sample that was representative of the area in terms of geography and key demographics. To supplement this, Enventure Research hosted a self-completion online survey (with an alternative paper survey completion option) targeted at residents of the Wakefield district, shoppers, and traders, promoted by Wakefield Council via posters, flyers, email, press and social media.

To supplement the surveys, Enventure Research moderated two focus groups and five in-depth interviews with Markets Service staff and two focus groups with college students aged 16-18.


In total, 506 Wakefield district residents took part in the self-completion survey, alongside the 800 district residents who took part in the telephone survey.

Enventure Research analysed the survey results and the feedback from the focus groups and interviews and provided Wakefield Council with a detailed research report. The report included a set of evidence based conclusions to help Wakefield Council develop an improvement plan to provide a modern fit-for-purpose Markets Service in the future.

“The work carried out by Enventure Research was to an extremely high standard. Their willingness to listen to our requirements and make sure they fulfilled these was excellent and this resulted in a high quality piece of research.”

Sarah Scholes

Programme & Service Development Manager, Wakefield Council