THE first phase of a major redevelopment of an indoor market is almost complete – with its new street food stalls set to open this week.

Work has been taking place at Darlington’s covered market since January as part of proposals to turn part of the hall into a street food market.

It will feature food from six different kitchens and an eating area where people can eat.

READ MORE: Darlington markets manager defends its record

David Shaul, digital media strategist for Market Asset Management (MAM) said: “It’s a fresh idea and a fresh concept.

“I think it’s great for us and great for the town. If we can attract more people into the town everyone wins."

The Northern Echo:

He added: "Hundreds of years ago people were going to the market to socialise, not just to buy things. We're all about bringing families and communities together."

Mr Shaul said he had been inundated with businesses that wanted to set up in the market.

READ MORE: Concerns dismissed that Darlington indoor market tenants being 'eased out'

The food selection includes pizza and burgers, as well as Hungarian and Thai cuisine, Spud Gun, which makes loaded fries and the Yorkie Wrap Company, which specialises in wraps made from Yorkshire puddings.

The hall will also have a stage, for music and other entertainment. Mr Shaul said he planned to have a weekly quiz night on Thursdays, with music or other live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.

The work, which was delayed because of the pandemic, is part of a multi-million pound investment aimed at boosting footfall to the market and town centre.

He added: "For me we’ve still got the traditional market, we’ve got a couple of great butchers and a fish mongers, greengrocers. They are still here and alive and kicking.

The Northern Echo:

"There’s going to be people who don’t like it but we’ve got to keep up with the times.

"Near here there’s nothing like this so naturally it’s going to bring in new people.

"People have just had the last 18 months of normal life taken away, whether that’s meeting friends and family or trying new food. This can’t not win really."

The next phase of work to give a facelift to the traditional market stalls is expecting to take place towards the end of the year. And the third phase, which will see the wall closest to the market square replaced with glass and a temperate garden and another bar installed, will start next year.

It will open in time for Darlington’s food festival, which starts on Friday and takes place over the bank holiday weekend, and will also include the Mish Mash music festival.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Darlington Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054