So, to bring you up to date with progress so far:
We strengthened the team. We now have a top finance director, a market manager from the events world, a designer, a surveyor, and a pool of talent to dip into as we get closer to launching.
We embarked on a major consultation exercise. It seems we are not obliged to do this for licensing purposes, but as we personally are of the area and for the area we would like everyone’s input and to listen to any issues beforehand. We dropped letters off to all the traders along the nearby part of the High Road, Devonshire Road and Turnham Green Terrace. These went in BC, and we were about to mailshot all the residents in the flats above and the houses in neighbouring roads. For obvious reasons that hasn’t happened. We provided our councillors with an early sight of our business plan, and met with several of them.
We have a survey ready that we would encourage you all to fill in. Which hours should we open? What should we sell? And any other comments you have to send us. We are listening…
Please respond to our survey here. There’s a free box for you to add your comments.
We sorted out our constitutional status: We have applied to become a CIC, a Community Interest Company. We started to sort out our bank account but this has also hit the Corona Skids for now. Likewise our insurance policies.
We met with London Borough of Hounslow. They were wholeheartedly supportive of our project and while they won’t be able to put any money into the Market, they will help us navigate the exciting issues of licensing, traffic management and waste disposal. Our learning curve is steep!
We worked out our Traffic Management scheme. We needed somewhere to park the flower trucks and we think we have found this, tucked away out of sight of the High Road and not near any residential properties, but near enough that the traders can sprint over to collect more stock. We worked out where the disabled bays could go temporarily on the Sunday mornings. We planned out how many stalls we could have and where they would be positioned.
We started the licensing procedure. This is really boring, so we won’t thrill you with the detail. Just trust us, it’s really dull, so we are definitely taking one for Team Chiswick here!
We set up a website and twitter account. @ChiswickFlowers.
We started approaching flower traders to see if they would be interested. There was an excellent response, and then… So now we have time to curate our offering, approach the best flowery people and prepare a fabulous market for west London.
We need your art. If you are locked up with your kids please get them to create us flowery pictures. We want to use these for our banners, website, tweets and… to cheer ourselves up. So please, don’t murder your children: give them some paints, coloured pencils, i-pad, plasticine – whichever medium you can and get them to create for us. What does the Chiswick Flower Market look like? What do they want at the market? Which flowers can they see there? (We accept grown up flowery art too.) Send them as jpgs to email@example.com or via twitter to @ChiswickFlowers