BUSINESSES across the DL postcode area are to hold an exhibition showcasing their products and services to potential customers in a bid to encourage people to buy locally.

The firms behind Darlington’s Buy Local campaign are to hold an open day to get businesses, residents and organisations behind the idea.

Businesses large and small will attend the third annual DL Business Expo, which is being held at The Northern Echo Arena, in Darlington, on Thursday, May 1.

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The event has the support of 200 of businesses and organisations, including sponsors Teesside University, Darlington Borough Council, Sherwoods and Darlington Mowden Park RFC, as well as The Northern Echo.

Patrick Masheder, chairman of the Darlington Business Club, instigators of the campaign, urged businesses to take a stand the event.

He said: “It's going to be the largest showcase of businesses based in the Darlington and district area. We hope to get some big DL based firms to attend.

"We are proud to be working in partnership with Darlington Mowden Park RFC, owners of the Northern Echo Arena, to provide a fantastic local venue for the occasion."

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman has also backed the initiative.

She said: “We have some great businesses in the town and we need local residents to take every opportunity to buy local produce and use local suppliers.

“To buy local means supporting our businesses, jobs and Darlington’s economy.”

The expo will feature a host of locally based firms, from hotels to engineering companies, all showcasing their products and services.

Visitors are invited to attend the free exhibition, to meet the buyers and to see the range of products and services on offer across the region.

Businesses with a DL or TS21 1 postcode can book a stand online at