A popular market will return later this month after its long-term future was secured. 

Orange Pip Market will be back in Middlesbrough with a new line-up - celebrating culture, food and drink.

The free event returns to its spiritual home alongside independent bars and businesses on Baker and Bedford Streets, on May 25.

Orange Pip was launched by Middlesbrough Council in 2016 and has gone on to be a fixture in the town’s events calendar, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors and supporting more than 100 local businesses.

The Northern Echo: The Orange Pip MarketThe Orange Pip Market (Image: ORANGE PIP MARKET)

But as the council attempts to balance its budget, the market’s long-term future was unclear – until Perco Foods stepped in.

Now, thanks to the support of new headline sponsor Perco Foods, Middlesbrough Council has confirmed a full summer program.

Further ‘Pips will take place on Baker and Bedford Streets on June 29, July 27, and August 31, providing a boost to town centre businesses.

An end-of-season Orange Pip party, to coincide with Teesside’s Pride event and Middlesbrough Art Week, will take place on Centre Square on September 28.

As always, visitors can expect a range of artisan food, drinks, arts and crafts, music and free family entertainment across dozens of stalls.

Cllr Philippa Storey, Middlesbrough’s Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Culture, is excited for the event to return.

She said: “Orange Pip Market attracts thousands of people into Middlesbrough and is a huge bonus for our town centre businesses, which is why we’ve always been completely committed to making sure it continued this year.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard to ensure we can offer a full summer of ‘Pips while making it sustainable financially.

“The partnership with our sponsor, Perco Foods, means that we can do that and continue to run a much-loved event which is popular with people of all ages and backgrounds.

“I can’t wait for the first ‘Pip in May, fingers crossed the summer weather is well on its way by then.”

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Matthew Baike-Ghazvini, director at Perco Foods, said: “As a local company, we are pleased to partner with one of the top events in the region.

“It is an exciting opportunity for us to get involved with local independent businesses and also support community initiatives that bring people together.”

The Teesside-based national company, which supplies the food sector, has signed up as the headline sponsor for 2024.

Since being established in Norton in 1996, Perco Foods is now one of the leading food importers and distributors in the UK.