A DARLINGTON market has been crowned the nation’s favourite.

Darlington Sunday People’s Market has beaten off competition from across the country to be named Britain’s favourite market at the annual National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) Market of the Year competition.

The market was set up by volunteers in August last year to rejuvenate Darlington town centre and takes place on the first Sunday of every month.

Speaking after the award ceremony at the NABMA conference in Birmingham today, committee member Alex Blackham said: “We are absolutely over the moon.

“This award is for all the people who have helped play a part in the market since it was set up last year as they have all worked so hard.”

Communities Minister Don Foster said: “I congratulate all the winners on their work providing outstanding markets for local people to shop at, supporting the local economy and creating jobs.

"High streets are facing a tough time at the moment with household name shops closing and strong competition from internet sales – yet many markets across the country are thriving.

“All today’s award winners and nominees are playing a vital role in keeping their local high street flourishing.”