July 30, 2019 @ 10:21 by Richard Dawson
A new look street market is set to return to the streets of Chester-le-Street in August, with hopes that it can help revitalise the local economy.
The town’s new markets will run from 9am to 4pm every week starting from August 2, with a number of traders offering goods like handcrafts, cakes and bakes, street foods, and local produce.
Councillor Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “We are delighted to have found new operators for Chester-le-Street market.
“Markets can be incredibly important to a town’s economy but also often play a key part in community life, so it’s great news that traders are set to return to Chester-le-Street, not just once a week but every Friday and Saturday.”
After an invitation for proposals earlier this year, Durham County Council awarded two contracts to run the Friday and Saturday markets to operators the Craft Fair Company and Events2gogo.
Events2gogo will organise the markets on the first Friday and Saturday of the month, while the Craft Fair Company will handle the running of the event for the remaining weeks in the month.
Fiona Harnett, from Events2gogo, said: “We are very keen to breathe new life into Chester-le-Street, where the market has a rich heritage of being one of the best in the area.
“It is our aim to bring the market back to the good old days – a market to be proud of. Chester-le-Street is on the up, and we want to join in on its successes.”
Teresa Symington, from the Craft Fair Company, said: “We are very excited to have been given the opportunity to organise and bring Chester-Le-Street market back to life.
“We will be working towards bringing in new traders and also looking after the traders who have been involved in the traditional market for years.”
The market will be in experienced hands: Events2gogo operates markets in other locations in the North East, including Sunderland and Hartlepool, while The Craft Fair Company also has markets around the region and a retail site at St Cuthbert’s Walk in Chester-le-Street.
Councillor Brian Stephens added: “Both Events2gogo and the Craft Fair Company have a proven track record for running popular, busy markets elsewhere in the region so I am sure we can look forward to a vibrant, successful future for Chester-le-Street.”