New outdoor street food and small business market to launch in Sunderland

A new market is to launch in Sunderland city centre, helping businesses battle back from the pandemic and offer shoppers a showcase of food, crafts and more.

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 5:00 am

Andrea Bell, of Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen, will host the event on land opposite the Travelodge on High Street West, a short distance from the organisation’s Albert’s Place base.

It will be held on the first Sunday of every month, with the launch on August 1 from 10am to 2pm.

The idea was sparked after she met business people who turned to the kitchen when the Covid crisis left them without an income and they fell through the cracks of Government grant support.

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Sunderland Community Soup Kitchen staff Julie Southern and Andrea Bell at the site of the new market.

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The venture is separate from the service, with funds generated through the £15 charge for stallholders to be invested back into the market, with tables and gazebos at the ready to make sure it looks smart and welcoming.

A total of 21 stalls are available and Andrea’s vision is to offer a street food section which could become an established fixture on the site, while she says it will also complement the redevelopment of nearby Mackie’s Corner.

Andrea said: “This came about because we’ve been helping people through the pandemic who had businesses, there were some able to get £10,000 grants, but they weren’t in that category and had to go on Universal Credit.

“These people were in that grey area. We want to help them recover.

"This market is going to be massive and we’ve loved seeing the cafe culture develop and this is moving on from that.

"We want lots of food stalls so people can sample different cuisines and that’s my long term vision, to have a long row of them alongside it.

"It’s going to be a really sociable area and get in businesses, arts, crafts and everything else.

“The feedback we’ve had on Facebook has been tremendous and people are saying this is what we need, it’ll be great for the area and they’re really supporting it.”

The kitchen will offer stallholders hot drinks and bacon sandwiches, while neighbour Dotties Kitchen will serve Sunday dinners to shoppers.

Andrea is also holding fundraising drive, with anyone interesting helping asked to get in touch via the kitchen’s Facebook page, with DFDS already pledging a £250 mini cruise voucher to be won.

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