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Sunday market boost for town centre
THE number of people using Darlington town centre on a Sunday has increased thanks to a new monthly market.
Darlington Sunday People’s Market was launched in August by a team of volunteers and has since increased footfall across shops in the town by 17 per cent.
The market takes place in Blackwellgate on the first Sunday of every month and has increased numbers in that street on Sunday by 46 per cent, while shops on nearby West Row have seen a 58 per cent rise.
Alex Blackham, co-founder and owner of The Diner in the covered market, said: “The reason we set up the market was to revitalise Darlington town centre, and I think we have without a doubt done that.
“We have been successful and have shown that when there is an event on in the town centre it can attract people from all over and make the independent retailers some money.
“We have had support from everybody and it's gone from strength to strength.”
The market launched after months of campaigning and planning by local business owners and residents, and now runs in partnership with Darlington Borough Council.
It was designed to showcase the diversity of the region and bring traders to Darlington not usually seen by the traditional Saturday and Monday markets.
Peter Wilson, markets manager at Darlington Borough Council, said: “The volunteers at Darlington Sunday People's Market are very proactive and very successful at keeping both the traders and the customers involved in the market.
“They are very hard working and have a distinct idea that makes them different from the Saturday and Monday markets, and gives people something different.
“They are good at using social media to keep people informed of the market, and people have responded well to it. The people behind the Sunday People's Market really care about Darlington and the town centre.”
The next Darlington Sunday People’s Market will take place on Sunday, November 4 from 11am to 4pm.
Anyone wishing to hire a stall is asked to email the market’s committee on DSPM.Darlington@live.co.uk or Darlington Borough Council’s markets department on firstname.lastname@example.org