DARLINGTON'S award-winning Pease Pudding Market returned on Thursday evening for the first time this year.

Food, drink and entertainment were the order of the evening as independent traders from around the region flocked to the town centre.

Speciality stalls heaving with fresh produce, including Caps Off Kitchen from Bishop Auckland, were present at the launch, with a wide range of food and drink on offer.

It is hoped the return of the popular market on Thursday will mean it can soon return to its usual monthly slot with live musicians and street artists joining the bill.

Darlington's MP Peter Gibson visited the market and thanked residents for supporting local businesses.

Mr Gibson said: "It was great to attend the Pease Pudding Market and we were blessed with good weather.

"As an event space the Market Place in the centre of our community and its fantastic to see it getting back to its full use.

The innovative night-time market that launched in 2019 scooped a prestigious national award - the ‘Best Small Speciality Market’ from the National Association of British Markets Authorities (NABMA).