Category Archives: Festivals

Conversation Piece: High-street strategy: recovery will take more than street parties and more bins

On the 15th July, the UK Government published its new high street strategy for England “Build Back Better: High Streets”. I was asked by The Conversation to prepare a peice about the strategy, its links to Covid recovery and its … Continue reading

Posted in community wealth building, Festivals, Government, High Streets, Independents, Local Retailers, Mary Portas, Permitted Development Rights, Places, Planning, Policy, Public Policy, Public Realm, Regeneration, Regulation, Retailers, Retailing, Streetscapes, Town Centres | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Big Show (Y Sioe Fawr)

A few weeks ago I attended the Royal Welsh Show (Y Sioe Fawr) at Llanelwedd/Builth Wells.  For a number of years I have been to the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston and have always thought it to be a large … Continue reading

Posted in Farmers Markets, Festivals, Food and Beverage, Food Quality, Food Retailing, Markets, Producers, Rates, Retail Economy, Retailers, Rural, Sustainability, Tax | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gardens and Gin

I sometimes wonder what visitors make of Scotland. When I first moved up we did a lot of the tourist things, as people and family visited, but as life goes on it is all too easy to look to further … Continue reading

Posted in Alcohol, Architecture, Buildings, Community, Distillery, Edinburgh, Festivals, Gardens, Gin, Historic Shops, Royal Mile, Scotland Food and Drink, Spaces, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Market Time

I suspect that my interest in markets was sparked at a young age when my father would take me to the livestock market and my mother would take me to the open-air market (Cheapside) and to the covered food market, … Continue reading

Posted in Christmas, Experiential, Farmers Markets, Festivals, Food, Krakow, London, Markets, Places, Spaces, Streetscapes, Urban History | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lampeter Food Festival

As I noted in my last post, I was based down in Wales for personal reasons for much of July. It did however allow me to return to Lampeter, the small West Walian town where I spent almost four years … Continue reading

Posted in Festivals, Food, Food Retailing, High Streets, organic, Retail Economy, Rural, Town Centres | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Conversation: Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Silver Linings

The University of Stirling is a supporter of The Conversation, and I recently had a commentary published there. I reblog it here. ’Tis the season to spend, spend, spend … or so retailers would have us think By Leigh Sparks, … Continue reading

Posted in Black Friday, Christmas, Consumer Change, Cyber Monday, Festivals, Internet, Internet shopping, Localisation, Online Retailing, Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Singapore Times

As regular readers of this blog already know, the Institute for Retail Studies at the University of Stirling has had programmes and partners in Singapore for a long time, targeted both at Singaporean students and retailers and those in the … Continue reading

Posted in Alumni, Courts Asia, Festivals, Government, International Retailing, Markets, Qualifications, Retail Degrees, Shopping Centres, University of Stirling | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Business Improvement Districts: Gatherings and Huddles

As I have written before, in reading this post you have to remember that I am a Board Member of BIDs (Business Improvement Districts) Scotland and thus believe they have a role to play in Scotland and in Scotland’s town … Continue reading

Posted in BIDS, Entrepreneurship, Festivals, Food Retailing, Food Tourism, Heritage, Innovation, Markets, Places, Scotland Food and Drink, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Town Centre Review, Town Centres | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Whose Town is it Anyway?” Reflections on Scotland’s Towns Conference

Take one minister (no, not of the Co-operative Methodist type), a couple of passionate key note presenters and well over 100 people mainly from across Scotland, wanting, willing and able to share their town stories and opportunities and you get … Continue reading

Posted in BIDS, Festivals, Food, Government, High Streets, Local Retailers, Places, Scotland's Town and High Streets, Town Centre Review, Town Centres | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shock and Awe

I am too young to be an ageing hippie – honest. And I certainly no longer have the hair for it. But a few nights ago we went to the Neil Young and Crazy Horse show in Glasgow. Growing up … Continue reading

Posted in Festivals, Merchandising, Music, Retailing, Sport, Tourism, USA | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments