People in South Tyneside are hoping a new partnership to boost trade and visitors to South Shields Market will pay off.
The Market Square, which underwent a multi-million pound makeover last year, will soon host themed food, craft and farmers’ markets as well as the popular traditional markets which run three days a week
The Gazette revealed, that from April, South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes will be working in partnership with environmental and community group Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle to manage the market, which was been running since the 1200s.
This will include growing the size of the traditional markets by attracting new traders as well as hosting specialist markets and events to expand the visitor offer and drive footfall into the town centre.
A new programme of markets and events will also complement activities at nearby digital hub and library, The Word.
Gazette readers are delighted the proposed plans and hope it will see the market bustling once again.
Karl Milburn said: “Brilliant idea, been saying this for years!
“The market needs variety, just like what Newcastle do over the summer and Christmas period. It’s just stores with junk on, and you can get the same from nearly every stall. Its stuff nobody really wants.
“Times have moved on, so it’s about time the stalls moved on with the times. This will bring more people to the town on weekends, which in turn is better for other businesses.
Judith Payne is also pleased with the plans - however, she’s not so keen on the new canopy which was installed as part of the South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan.
She said: “Good idea it’s definitely worth a try. Years ago the market used to have loads of trade. I loved it. To be honest the canopy does nothing for me but good luck with new plans.”
Ian Gray also thinks more should have been done to make the market weatherproof.
He wrote: “They should have put a all weather cover over the market so they could have events and markets not subject to the weather.”
Elizabeth Wilson stated: “Great news, I’ll look forward to this.”
Steve Pattison said: “I truly hope it will. For South Shields’ sake.”
Flloydmac added: “Nice to see more progress in place to try and re-vamp the town.
“It is a seaside town which will always attract visitors, so hopefully this will help to attract visitors back to the forgotten side of town.”
South Shields’ market operates from 9am to 4pm on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays around the Old Town Hall