Trader hopes festive events will give South Shields Market a much needed boost
A market trader in South Shields is hoping that this year's festive calendar will give the market a much needed boost.
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Laurie Scully, a market trader from Boldon, is urging members of the public to come along to the festive events taking place in Market Place this year in the hopes that it can revitalise South Shields Market.
The trader, who has a stall at the Friday Flea Market and at the Traditional Market on a Saturday, has told the Gazette that the market has been declining since the Covid pandemic.
The 36-year-old, who runs By Laurie, has also highlighted that an increase in online shopping, coupled with ongoing bus strikes and the decline of trading on King Street is also hindering South Shields Market.
A festive event will take place on Thursday, November 23, as the South Shields Christmas Lights get switched on.
There will then be the South Shields Festive Market on Saturday, December 2, filled with family-friendly Christmas activities.
Laurie is hoping that these events will help to breathe some life back into South Shields Market on a weekly basis.
She said: "The decline of the market is getting so bad that some traders are now deciding that it is no longer profitable and are starting to leave.
"I'm taking a lot less money than in previous years and people are starting to feel like it isn't worth the time and effort.
"The market was slightly declining before Covid but the pandemic has sped it up.
"It isn't just Covid, there is a lot of contributing factors like the rise of online shopping, King Street not being what it once was along with the bus strikes.
"I think a lot of people don't realise that the market is still there but we are wanting to make the Christmas markets worthwhile and to put the South Shields Markets back on the map.
"We are looking to grow the market over the next 12 months, especially because there has been a market for so long in South Shields.
"We have the purpose-built Market Place and it is a market town so we should have a thriving market."
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The market at the Christmas Lights Switch On will run from 1pm until 6.30pm on Thursday, November 23, with the entertainment starting at 5pm.
The Festive Market on December 2 will run from 10am until 3pm, with plenty of activities for the full family.
There will be visits from Santa and his elf, free children's rides, festive crafts, face painting, street entertainment, live music and more.
You can find out more by visiting: https://www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk/article/20240/South-Shields-Festive-Market.