STALLHOLDERS in Darlington's Covered Market have set up a new trade association.

The decision was taken following the Darlington Town Centre Conference, held in March this year, and a subsequent meeting in which traders agreed they were unhappy with lack of formal representation for businesses in the Covered Market.

This led to just under 30 businesses signing up for a new organisation that aims to represent its members’ interests at all levels.

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Chairman of the group, Kevin Bland, said: “Our aim is to have a professionally-run trade association that has transparency and integrity embedded into its core aims and objectives.

“We aim to represent the needs of all our members in a fair and democratic manner.

“Since the meeting we have had a very positive response from several areas and we would like to make it clear that Darlington Covered Market is very much open for business.

“The association will be looking to liaise with Darlington Borough Council, statutory services, voluntary organisations and organisations supportive of general trading interests, for the benefit of its members.

“We intend to make a fresh start with fresh ideas and initiatives.These are challenging times for everyone in business and we need to work together to ensure the continuing success of the covered market.”

Mr Bland added: “Collectively we have a lot of experience and intend to put it to good use.”