Middlesbrough’s Orange Pip Market has led to a town centre “business boom” worth an estimated £1m to the local economy, according to a new report.
A review of the monthly artisan food market’s performance in 2016 highlights how 40,000 people were recorded as visiting Baker and Bedford Street across the seven market days from June to November.
Local business owners have also told how Orange Pip has led to a 120% increase in sales when compared like for like against non-market Saturdays.
Orange Pip Market was launched in May by Middlesbrough Council with the aim of enhancing the town centre offer, increasing economic activity, developing a sense of community, introducing specialist foods and increasing the cultural offer within the region.
As well as artisan foods and drinks each month also sees a wide array of musicians, street performers and arts and craft workshops.
Its first outing on Baker Street in May attracted 3,000 people and by July that number had risen to 8,000, resulting in an expansion onto Bedford Street in August.
The new report – Orange Pip Market – Moving Forward – by market curator Nicky Peacock, states: “The development of Orange Pip Market has created a tangible buzz around Middlesbrough, helping to foster the notion that the town is on the up.
“The market has attracted significant media coverage and has been championed by local and regional news outlets. Perceptions have changed about Middlesbrough, not least amongst the traders.
“The market has been pivotal in changing the perceptions of Middlesbrough. The event has demonstrated that Middlesbrough’s residents are economically active and are willing to pay a premium for quality produce, especially when hosted in a friendly and sociable atmosphere.
“New local ventures are taking this on board and adapting their offers to be more specialist and artisan.”
Orange Pip is currently taking a winter break to avoid the worst of the seasonal weather and will be returning on March 25.
The report adds: “It will also provide much-needed time to further develop the market; engaging new, original traders and allowing time to research and build links with contemporary high-quality creative practitioners.
“In addition to this, opportunities for appropriate expansion will be assessed for viability and value. This could include expansion on to the adjacent Linthorpe Road and Albert Road areas.”
The report will be taken to Middlesbrough Council’s next meeting of Executive by the town’s Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for Regeneration Cllr Charlie Rooney.
He said: “Orange Pip Market seems to be emblematic of the heightened sense of confidence and optimism we are seeing in Middlesbrough. It has proved itself a success with the public, with the traders and with the wider business community and we look forward to its relaunch in 2017.”