Southsea Night Markets 2015 artwork by Roberta Fidora

Press Release – Southsea Night Markets 2015


Southsea Night Markets will put spotlight on Old Portsmouth’s upcoming creative quarter

The Southsea Night Markets are proud to return for a second year to offer a touch of the Mediterranean night market to residents and visitors. They will run from 4:00pm to 8:00pm every Friday in July, starting Friday 03 July, on the site of the ARTches project, where vacant arches between the Square and Round Towers will be converted into studio spaces. They will build on the phenomenal success of the 2014 Markets in bringing together the best of Portsmouth and Southsea’s artists, artisans and makers to sell their handmade items on Southsea seafront.

As with last year, what’s for sale depends on who’s involved. Some sellers might be there each week, whilst others might come and go – giving a reason to come back each week to see what’s new. Visitors could find unique illustrations and prints; knitted and crocheted items; jewellery and accessories; or hand-thrown pottery and ceramics.

This year’s Markets move from the seafront to the area just in front of the Round Tower on Broad Street, on the way to Spice Island in Old Portsmouth. Also new for this year is the organisation of the Markets by the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium, doing so with the full support of Portsmouth City Council. The Council recognised the positive impact of the 2014 Markets and have been eager to facilitate the inclusion of this year’s Markets in Portsmouth and Southsea’s incredibly varied summer 2015 events schedule.

Co-organiser Tom West says one of the most positive outcomes from the 2014 Markets was how engaged visitors became with the sellers, “It was incredible to see people’s reactions to learning everything on offer was there because the person behind the stall had made it. There was immediate respect for the creativity, originality and skill of those involved.”

The Markets were set up following Portsmouth City Council’s 2014 decision to allow artists and artisans to sell their handmade wares along part of Southsea seafront for free, providing they held public liability insurance. This opportunity remains for those wishing to set up on the seafront; the Southsea Night Markets offers sellers the opportunity to come together as a united and passionate community that supports one another’s entrepreneurial efforts, as well as Portsmouth and Southsea’s vibrant creative scene.

Councillor Linda Symes, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “Following the popularity of the Markets last year, it’s important to help creative industries thrive in the city and we will support opportunities where possible. We hope they will build interest in the ARTches project, where the former arches will be converted into studios. Work on the project is due to begin in September and we’re keen for this to get underway; however, it wouldn’t be appropriate to start work during the peak season and disrupt visitors. The night markets are a taster of the creative quarter to come.”

Co-organiser Roberta Fidora says, “In a time when many question the future of the arts and creative activities, we’re thrilled the Council has taken the decision to proudly support local makers and designers, and show that we, as a city, value the contribution of its creative community.”

Use #SouthseaNights on Twitter and Instagram to share experiences of the Markets, and visit the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium website at to keep up to date with the latest news.


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The Southsea Night Markets will be held every Friday night in July 2015 from 16:00 to 20:00, at the area just in front of the Round Tower on Broad Street, on the way to Spice Island in Old Portsmouth.

Artists and artisans interested in selling should e-mail either Roberta or Tom at mail [at] portsconsort [dot] com with full details of the items they wish to sell, which must be exclusively handmade and not knowingly violate the intellectual property of another, and a copy of a valid public liability insurance certificate detailing a minimum of £5m of cover. These are not the exclusive conditions of participation; further information may be obtained by writing to the given e-mail address.

An expression of interest may not necessarily result in an invitation to participate. Those artists or artisans and makers invited to participate in the Southsea Night Markets may do so free of charge.

Resellers and those selling vintage or second-hand goods are sadly unable to participate as they do not meet Portsmouth City Council’s criteria; upcycled or repurposed items may be sold by prior arrangement only. The sale of food as part of the Southsea Night Markets is, unfortunately, prohibited.


The Southsea Night Markets are being organised by Tom West and Roberta Fidora, co-founders of the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium – The Consortium is a volunteer community set up to showcase and support artists, artisans and makers in the local area, providing opportunities to sell handmade items as well as work collaboratively on creative projects in the local area. Find out more about the Consortium here.

Tom is a designer-maker interested in Japanese crafting, particularly amigurumi and zakka. He will soon launch a blog writing about various elements of creative practice.

Roberta is a freelance animator and illustrator specialising in popular culture and musical references, and a keen collector and curator of retro and vintage goods.


For general and press information about the Southsea Night Markets, and expressions of interest from potential sellers – mail [at] portsconsort [dot] com.

Find the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter: @portsconsort and follow Southsea Night Markets activity using #SouthseaNights.

Search for The Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium on Facebook – members of the public interested in the event are encouraged to ‘like’ the page to receive further information.

All Southsea Night Markets 2015 artwork by Roberta Fidora. High resolution images available upon request to mail [at] portsconsort [dot] com.

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