Sunderland traders are taking to the streets to remind shoppers of the retail offer that exists on their doorstep.
Independent traders from both the city centre and the seafront are taking part in two special pop-up Christmas markets, the City Centre Traders Market and Seaburn Christmas Market, that are running during the festive season to re-introduce shoppers with some of the city’s independent stores.
The markets, backed by sestablished traders from the city and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), are running from stalls in Market Square and Seaburn, and have been organised by Sunderland trader Brian Jackson, supported by MAKE it Sunderland, Sunderland BID and regeneration company Siglion, who are all lending their backing to the events.
Retailers including Reynolds Outdoor Centre and Ibbitson’s Butchers are signed up for the city centre market, as well as other businesses visiting especially to take part in the event, where they will be selling everything from food to festive gifts.
Mr Jackson, on behalf of Sunderland City Traders Association, said: “Sunderland has some tremendous businesses, but often they are tucked away – some of them off the beaten track – and as a result people do not get to see the fantastic things available on their doorstep.
“We wanted to create a really authentic market, that not only provides shoppers with a great opportunity to buy things they may never have otherwise found, but also for traders to enjoy a successful Christmas period.
“It’s not always easy to be an independent trader, with long hours and often with huge personal sacrifice, so we really would encourage the public to get behind these events by shopping local and make them a big success, and something we can hopefully grow and develop as a regular fixture.”
The City Centre Market is planned to run on Small Business Saturday – December 3 – from 9am to 5pm in Market Square and will feature a variety of stalls with some of the city’s independent traders selling goods including fresh fruit and veg, sweets and candy, meat and poultry, handbags, ladies fashion, outdoor wear, pet supplies and more.
Traders will include Thoburn’s Fruit and Veg, The Jewellery Box, Candy Land, No.2 Church Lane, Sweet Tooth Cakes, Pop Recs, Exquisite Hoisery, Pet Christmas Gifts and Bags of Bags.
Coun Paul Watson, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It is critical we as a council and the public through spending power, support local businesses and both of these events are about just that.
“We have retailers to be proud of in Sunderland, many of them established for generations. I hope this event encourages people to get behind them once again.”
The Seaburn Christmas Market on December 9, 10 and 11. Funded by the Coastal Community Fund and supported by Siglion and MAKE it Sunderland, the event, at Ocean Park, Seaburn, will bring a buzz to the seafront.
Tom Parkin, chairman of the Seafront Traders Association, said: “It’s fantastic to have a Christmas market taking place at the seafront.”
Katie Sully, development director at Siglion, said: “We are delighted to support this event, which will help to showcase our beautiful seafront and some of the great businesses we have in the city.
“It’s fantastic to see that traders are leading on something that will bring vibrancy and footfall to the seafront, an area of the city we are really keen to see regenerated and used in new and different ways, to help attract new visitors to Sunderland. We are sure it will be a huge success.”
Visitors to the Market Square event will have the chance to enter a raffle for a football and shirt signed by the Sunderland AFC team.