YOUNG entrepreneurs will be allowed to shine at Darlington Market after it was chosen to host a major competition as part of its burgeoning reputation as an events venue.

As part of a wish to take the competition on the road, organisers of the prestigious Young Traders Market 2022 competition confirmed Darlington Markets - operated by Market Asset Management - will for the first time host the North East heat of the national contest.

It will see judges from organisers the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF) mingle among shoppers as young entrepreneurial traders bring their extensive range of arts and crafts, general retail, grocery and food and drink to Darlington on Saturday, July.

It will follow smaller UK heats including at Darlington on Sunday, June 12. And CEO of NMTF - the only national organisation representing market and street traders, events retailers and mobile caterers - Joe Harrison said the support from market operators had been outstanding and Darlington Market was a fitting venue for such a prestigious event.

“We are confident that holding the North East regional final in Darlington will prove to be a great success,” he added.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Darlington Market. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTDarlington Market. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Officials  at Darlington Markets urged young traders to sign up to the competition – now in its 10th year.The contestants aged between 16 and 30 will compete in four categories: Arts and Crafts, Food and Drink, General Retail and Grocery.

They will be judged on criteria such as presentation, quality of the product, professionalism, and communications skills.

Other events at the market later this year include Little Bird Artisan Market on the last Sunday of the month – giving people the chance to purchase locally produced arts and crafts, ceramics, jewellery, clothing, flowers, and food and drink.

MAM also put on the much-loved Pease Pudding events on the first Thursday of the month in Darlington Market Square allowing customers to join us for a bite to eat, a drink and some live music and a resident DJ as well as the usual fantastic street traders.

A Jubilee Pease Pudding Special will also be held on Thursday, June 2 to Saturday, June 4 as part of the extended weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

And Darlington Food & Drink Festival returns from April 29 and will run until May 2. The event is packed full of street food vendors, food producer stalls, live music and cooking demonstrations.

MAM’s Events and Community Engagement Coordinator, Laura Ellis said she was delighted the North East heat of the NMTF Young Traders Market was coming to the market.

“At Darlington Markets we are all about celebrating and championing local businesses and it’s brilliant that young traders can come here and shine in a fantastic venue with the best customers in the country.

“Markets are community hubs and we are committed to putting on exciting events all year round and this endorsement from NMTF is fantastic. We can’t wait to host both the Darlington and the North East heats.”

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