A NORTH east market is celebrating after being named the best large outdoor market in the country.

The National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) has handed the accolade to Stockton's traditional market, which has been running for more than 700 years.

The judges were impressed by the market’s events programme as well as the contribution young people from schools, colleges and youth organisations across the Borough make by turning into market traders to test their entrepreneurial ideas.

Councillor Nigel Cooke, Stockton Borough Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and housing, said: “We are delighted that NABMA has acknowledged our fantastic market traders alongside the events and school enterprise programmes.

“Stockton is a town with a strong markets heritage and we are very proud of its traditional market. Over the last few years popular events have also been running as part of the market to complement the stalls."

Janice Auton, chairwoman of the Stockton BID, said: “The market is a huge part of Stockton Town Centre, attracting hundreds of visitors each and every week and adding to the vibrancy of the town centre so we are really pleased to see it acknowledged on a national scale.”

The market takes place on a Wednesday and Saturday with a selection of stalls also trading on a Friday.