Manchester City Council

Markets Apply to hold a market or fair

How do I apply to hold a market or fair in Manchester?

If you want to hold a market of any kind in Manchester, you need a Market Rights Licence from us.  You should apply for a Market Rights Licence as soon as possible, but at the latest 21 days in advance of the date of your market.  This will normally give us time to consider your application, notify you of the outcome, and then complete the licensing process with successful applicants.  In some cases, especially for larger and frequent markets, the consideration process may take longer than the 21 days.  If this applies to your application then we will notify you of this as soon as possible.  If you are not sure about the exact number of trading spaces at your market at the time of applying, you can provide an estimate.  This will still allow us to consider your application, and we can confirm the details nearer the time should your application be successful.

What is a market?

A market is defined as a 'concourse of buyers and sellers' with five or more trading spaces (e.g. stalls, stands, vehicles or pitches). This can also include:

  • Fairs; Car boot sales; Table-top sales; Traditional and specialist markets and fairs; Exhibition type markets and fairs; or where rides and amusements are included.

You still require a Market Rights Licence if:

  • You have already received other permissions for the market such as Temporary Event Notice (TENs), planning consent, or agreement to use the premises;
  • The market is to be held on private or public premises, either indoors or outdoors;
  • The proceeds are solely or principally for the benefit of a charity or other beneficiary;
  • The market is part of a wider event.

What are Market Rights?

We manage the Market Rights for Manchester.  Market Rights exist to protect markets from too much direct competition and to safeguard the tradition of holding markets in Manchester. 

To find out more see the Market Rights Policy and History of Manchester Markets.

How much does it cost?

Different charges apply see the pricing guidance.

Other information

You also need to read the Real Deal National Market's charter available on the Real Deal website.

Any other questions?

We are happy to help if you have any other questions.  Please email us at

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