A new bespoke market will be coming to County Durham in the next 12 months after plans to trial the event have been set out for the area. 

Proposals to try out the market scheme in Chester-le-Street have taken a step forward after the town received its share of £33,000 to trial a new specialist market, with the aim of making it a regular event.

The project will provide a bespoke market that will be delivered by March 2025.

Despite previous ideas in recent years for a bespoke market never coming to fruition, these proposals are going ahead, with Durham County Council committing to the market plans.

Now that the funding has been secured, the community and other stakeholders will be consulted on what their preferred style of market would be.

This includes exploring options such as a farmers or a moonlight, that will contain street entertainment as well.

Baccanalia has been contracted by Durham County Council to deliver this across the county in various towns.

The plans have been welcomed by Chester-le-Street councillors, including Cllr Craig Martin, who covers North Lodge and Chester-le-Street and has set out his hopes for the market once it's trialled.

Cllr Martin said: “I welcome this funding and hope the trial will spur the project on beyond just a one-off. As a town we need to get behind this, to give its best chance of success."

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“Hoping this pilot acts as a catalyst to drive improvements in our town’s market. Anyone who lives in Chester-le-Street will tell you our market used to be the envy of the rest of the North East. But it has been hollowed out by successive politicians' meddling, in deluded attempts to make it better.”

He added: "I'm looking forward to working with other Councillors and stakeholders to deliver this project. A massive thanks goes to Council staff and Liberal Democrat Portfolio Holder Elizabeth Scott for securing this funding.

"But we need to ensure this complements the offer that other businesses already provide in the town rather than replacing what we've got."