HOPES are high that a new outdoor market can breathe fresh life into a “forgotten” cultural quarter of Sunderland.
Sunniside will be welcoming visitors with music, food and art when the market takes place on Saturday, October 8.
City artists, restaurants, designers, clothing stores and musicians will be showcasing their talents at the event.
Sunniside businesses joined forces to launch the market in a bid to boost the area, which they claim has become forgotten.
One of the organisers, Paul Mason, of EMC2 Business Consultants, said: “I look out of the window every day and it’s such a beautiful place in the city centre but it needs a push and a bit of help.
“We thought this market would be the perfect chance to show the city what we have here as well as push the area forward economically.”
Clothes shop owners Liam Winn and Andrew Booth will be setting up a stall filled with men’s clothing.
Liam, of Denim Geek, said: “We sell our stuff online so this gives us a chance to expand on that, as well as let people know that we’re here.”
Organiser and artist Ursula Apreda, of Apreda-art.com, added: “Sunniside is a the cultural hub of Sunderland and is the perfect setting for this.
“We wanted to boost the area for everybody round here because why should people go to Durham and Newcastle when there’s an amazing amount of talent in the area?”
As well as browsing the array of stalls, visitors can also have a go at pottery and glass-blowing and listen to live music from some of the city’s bands.
There will also be a children’s entertainer, graffiti art demonstrations and top food, including an Italian deli and fresh pizzas, cup cakes and organic fruit and veg.
Coun Harry Trueman, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “Sunniside is such a beautiful part of the city and the council is very pleased to support this programme of market events to help bring people down to the area.
“The council certainly welcomes the commitment and involvement of the businesses in Sunniside who have done such a lot of the work to help ensure a good variety of stalls.
“They have also taken the lead on promoting the market to everyone in the city.
“This is a challenging time for everyone but it’s encouraging that initiatives such as this can be brought about by a working partnership between local businesses and the council so that we can all continue to help our local economy.”
The market takes place from 9am to 4pm on October 8.
Organisers are planning another market in the run-up to Christmas and then hope to make it a regular event.