Skip to content and Stevenage Borough Council joined forces to launch a unique competition for local businesses to win rent-free or discounted space in Stevenage Indoor Market. 

Not only that, the successful businesses will also receive full support throughout their launch from the Indoor Market team. The competition is part of a pilot of town centre initiative, funded by Hertfordshire Growth Board.

After a rigorous application process, we’re excited to announce that a winner and runner-up have been selected. The runner-up will be awarded preferential terms to help them launch into the Market in the near future.

Our Winner: Subtle African Print by Linda Chambers

Subtle African Print, owned by Linda Chambers, will celebrate African heritage through a diverse collection of handcrafted clothing, accessories, home décor and jewellery. Each item will be uniquely designed and handcrafted by Linda with traditional African patterns, blending cultural richness with contemporary design.


Linda will receive one year of rent-free space at Stevenage Indoor Market, as well as invaluable support from leading industry professionals through’s JO Accelerator programme.

Quote from Linda Chambers:

Linda, owner of Subtle African Print said: “I started the business in 2019. Like a beacon in my life, I can express myself through my designs. I was born and raised in Zimbabwe and adore Africa and African print. I love to create beautiful and colourful designs that are infinitive, divine and unique, as well as an inspiration to others. I am super excited about this amazing opportunity and look forward to serving my community and getting to know my fellow traders!

“Please come along and support me in any way you can. See you soon!”

Highly Commended Runner-up:

Runner-up, Cha Kulcha, has been offered the opportunity to join Stevenage Market for an extended period of time at a significantly discounted rate. It’s great to be able to offer the ‘new trader rate’ for an extended period of 12 months rather than six.

Jenn, Business Manager of Cha Kulcha said: “We applied to the High Street Competition because we saw it as an opportunity to start a business on a solid foundation, enabling us to grow. Friends have always encouraged us to open a place after trying our food, but of course, there are large start-up costs involved with doing so. Neither of us (Faiq & Jenn) are from the UK, and the café celebrates what happens when you bring different cultures together. It's great to already have so much support behind us to make this happen and we can't wait to start serving good food!”

All of these businesses are set to grow in the future and the team at Stevenage Borough Council will be on hand to help with the next steps - preparing their trading space and welcoming them to the Market once they are ready to launch.

Julie Holden, Community Director at said:

“We have been really impressed with the number, quality and diversity of the applications for this one-off free trading opportunity in Stevenage Market. There are so many budding entrepreneurs who just need a reason to ‘give it a go’, as we have seen in other areas for similar opportunities. We are looking forward to supporting Linda and we wish all the others the best of luck with their ventures.”