THE spotlight fell on a bustling marketplace to encourage shoppers to come back after a redevelopment project.
City of Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods visited Durham’s Market Place and Indoor Market as part of a drive to boost business for the traders.
The MP said she was showing her support for the city’s indoor and outdoor market retailers after a £5million regeneration project to improve the area.
Dr Blackman-Woods said: “I believe it is vital not just for the markets but for Durham and the local community that every effort is made to increase visitor levels and encourage trading now that the major work has finished.
“The markets in Durham have been part of the city centre for over 150 years and have always been very popular with locals and visitors alike.
“Both the importance of the market to the community as well as the key role they play in attracting tourism to the city cannot be emphasised enough.”
“The Market Place is finally fully open after 15 months of regeneration works and I would like to pay tribute to the patience of local businesses and traders throughout such a difficult time.”
Ms Blackman-Woods has previously criticised the Market Place redevelopment, calling it a disappointment and laying the blame at the door of Durham County Council.
In July, she called for a fund-raising campaign to provide funds for further improvements.
Colin Wilkes, managing director of Durham Markets Company, said: “We are very pleased about Roberta Blackman-Woods coming to meet our retailers. The economic value of local traders supplying local people cannot be underestimated.
“Durham Indoor Market was founded in 1851 with a key ethos of fostering a tradition of high-quality, independent retail in the city, and this continues today with the Durham City Farmers’ Market and Saturday Outdoor Retail Market too, both founded in 2000.
“Together they sustain many local people in employment.”