Raising the profile of London’s historic Leadenhall Market

The Brief

In 2021, the year of its 700th anniversary, Barley worked with Leadenhall Market to increase footfall by enticing City workers, London residents and tourists to the Market. 

We also wanted to raise brand awareness by positioning the Market in our media and communications as an iconic, vibrant, and intriguing cultural destination 

Insights and Approach

Creativity was central to our strategy to engage shoppers and customers. We reimagined the use of the outdoor space with an innovative events programme, and created content to maximise digital engagement.  

Through partnerships with other cultural offerings that needed support, we launched a ‘taster’ events programme, using the public space and vacant shop units for art and museum exhibits, music and dance productions. Visitors were encouraged to visit and to enjoy London’s immense talent and creativity.  

We also needed to boost awareness of the destination amongst the wider audience of London residents (including families) and tourists. We therefore hired out the space to brands with relevant followers for public events during the evening and at weekends to promote future visits when more retail is open during the week.  

Overall Barley organised 20 activations in the Market in 2021. These included:  

  • Bird-song playing and mood-enhancing lights in shop windows during lockdown  
  • Gods Own Junkyard – an exhibition of neon signs created for film sets designed to attract younger visitors  
  • Dogstagram – the first ever UK photo station for dogs, tapping into the surge in dog ownership, with themed props and influencer collaborations. 

The Outcome

In 2021, Barley secured 435 pieces of coverage, with opportunities to see/hear of 1,373,973,553. Upweighted digital communications led to a 25% increase in social media followers from 16,096 to 20,065, with particularly strong follower growth on Instagram at 32%. 

Media coverage was overwhelmingly positive and so was the response on social media. 

This resulted in a 91% average increase in monthly footfall for 2021 vs April-December 2020. Visitor numbers climbed from 192,049 to 331,697 – an increase of 73% – from July to September, when Covid restrictions were broadly similar in 2020 and 2021. 





items of coverage



opportunities to see/hear



increase in social media followers



growth on Instagram



increase in monthly average footfall



increase in visitor numbers

“Barley Communications have been superb in terms of active PR and event ideas during the pandemic which was desperately needed. I could not wish for a better, flexible, innovative agency to work with.”

Sarah Trillwood | Asset Manager, Leadenhall Market