Next phase of market redevelopment set to begin
The next phase of the major redevelopment of Darlington’s iconic Victorian Market will get underway next week (August 15).
The second phase of the development will be undertaken with minimum disruption to traders and shoppers and the market will remain open for business as usual.
The makeover will create new jobs and the works include a new basement prohibition-themed bar ‘The Vault’ offering ales and cocktails and benefit from casual entertainment in a sophisticated and comfortable environment.
The works are part of a successful blueprint from operators Market Asset Management Darlington Ltd. and Darlington Borough Council for the venue to grow as a food, retail and live entertainment destination.
The Phase 2 redevelopment will include:
- Revamped shop front fascias and entrances
- A new shop floor café
- New public and trader toilets on the ground floor
- New toilets to the basement
- New pack and despatch room to assist those traders who benefit from online sales.
After a tender process, MAM Darlington identified Urban Construction Interiors as the preferred contractor.
Urban Construction Interiors said the project will create five new jobs to be recruited from the Darlington area and wherever possible it will use local suppliers, ranging from sandblasting to demolition.
Kevin Keogh, operations director of Urban Construction Interiors, a division of York-based Urban Group, said: “We are delighted and proud to be involved in this project to make further improvements at the market.
“Working in live environments is something we do very well as a business, and we will be using local labour and suppliers wherever possible.”
The next chapter comes amid exciting times for the market and follows the successful first phase of the revamp which opened to the public in August 2021.
It saw one third of the shop floor transformed into a street food scene with independent food traders offering cuisine from around the world from purpose-built units and a large communal seating area.
There is also the Market Tap bar and an events stage.
As well as its amazing global cuisine and independent retail offering, Darlington Markets has a burgeoning reputation as a community events venue.
Events at the market this year include the Darlington Artisan Market, held on the last Sunday of the month, and the much-loved Pease Pudding events on the first Thursday of the month in the Market Square. It also hosted the North East final of the prestigious Young Traders Market for the first time on July 23.
Delighted that Phase 2 of the redevelopment was getting underway, Hayden Ferriby, commercial director at MAM, said: “Alongside Darlington Borough Council we are committed to making the market a continued asset for the people of Darlington and a thriving venue for local businesses.
“The latest stage of the market’s redevelopment will only enhance our aims and fuel our passion to make Darlington Market a unique destination that gives customers an experience to remember and somewhere they want to visit again.”
Councillor Jonathan Dulston, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “I can’t wait to see this next phase in the exciting redevelopment of our iconic indoor market start to take shape.
“People will start to notice the changes really soon, and these improvements will have a massive impact in how the market looks and feels going forward.
“It’s exciting to think that these improvements will be delivered at pace, meaning that in just a couple of months our market – one of the many jewels in Darlington’s crown – will have a whole host of new facilities for everyone to enjoy.”