VOLUNTEERS behind a North-East shopping event are hoping to raise a record amount for charity to mark its 30th anniversary.

The Durham Shopping Extravaganza, one of the longest running charity events in the region, has raised more than £400,000.

Organisers are aiming to take their total raised to £500,000 this year.

Co-chair Nicky Swan said: “Our volunteers are really fired up to make our 30th anniversary event the best and biggest yet and we have set ourselves an ambitious fundraising target.”

This year’s extravaganza takes place on October 10-11, at Ramside Hall Hotel, near Durham and will support Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services (UTASS), the North East Autism Society, Grace House Hospice in Sunderland and three local branches of Phab.

Ms Swan said: “The 2017 extravaganza was the most successful to date with profits of £28,000 and, with the support of our wonderful stallholders and shoppers, we would love to increase this significantly in 2018.

“The current committee, and retired volunteers who join us to help at the event, give their time and expertise for free. We couldn’t do it without them, or those businesses who have continued to support us for many years – BHP Law, Brewin Dolphin, Lycetts, Parklane Plowden Chambers and Sherwoods.”

She added: “Many of our stallholders return year after year – some travelling hundreds of miles – because of the friendly welcome they receive from North-East shoppers. We will also be introducing more new stallholders with exciting and unusual products this year to ensure there is something for everyone, from food to fashion, gifts to gardens.”

A total of £25,000 from 2017 event has already been presented to St Cuthbert’s Hospice and DFW Adoption, in Durham, My Sister’s Place, Middlesbrough, and the County Durham committee of RABI, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

A range of smaller charities are to benefit in the coming weeks.