Darlington open-air market to leave Market Square
An outdoor market is expected to be relocated next month following a campaign by traders, according to the Northern Echo.
Traders in Darlington Open Air Market have campaigned for months to leave Market Square as they say this has led to a drop in trade due to reduced footfall, resulting in fewer businesses present to sell their goods.
The Northern Echo understands that the market will be moved from Market Square starting the first weekend of August and will instead be located at West Row, Tubwell Row and Blackwellgate.
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Shopkeeper Angela Smedley, who runs Angie’s Diner, led the campaign, said: “We’re not back where we were, but we’re heading to the front of the covered market so we’ll be on the other side. of the building.
“We will have better visibility there and a little more in the commercial part of the city.
“The traders are enthusiastic because they think we will be more visible.
Traders in the market say they have struggled since being moved from outdoor stores to High Row and Northgate due to being cut off from the rest of the town’s retail supply.
Councilor Libby McCollum, whose Park East neighborhood includes the downtown area, said: “I am glad the council has finally gotten the meaning and is rolling back the free market.
“Now it is up to traders to vigorously promote the free market and to facilitate trade and shopping there as much as possible.
“The free market traders and the city deserve nothing less.”
The Labor adviser, who accused the Tory-led Darlington Borough Council of not listening to traders, added: “It has been heartbreaking to see our free market decline.
“There is just no footfall in the marketplace to support the businesses out there.”
Michael Nicholson, President of the National Market Traders Federation, which supported the relocation campaign, said, “We are very happy.
“It’s not quite where they would have liked to be, but it’s a compromise and it should work.
“From what I understand, most traders are positive about turning back the clock. They are looking forward to it.”
Darlington Borough Council was unable to provide comment at the time of posting.
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