A Fairtrade shop has opened in Middlesbrough’s Dundas Shopping Centre for Christmas, re-starting a 30-year-old tradition.
Traidcraft has opened every year during the festive period since 1985 in different retail units in Middlesbrough town centre.
It is a Fairtrade business which trades with a bias to the poor and enables producers to receive a proper return for their skill and hard work.
In 2017, organiser Jenny Medhurst was unable to find an outlet in Middlesbrough during the Christmas period, but this year she returns to a unit in the main shopping mall in Dundas Shopping Centre, where she last traded in 2014.
She says: “I am delighted that the Dundas Shopping Centre could accommodate us once again, so that we can continue to offer unique and ethical Fairtrade goods to the people of Middlesbrough. People’s lives change through fair trade.
“It saves vanishing traditional skills from extinction and celebrates a world of creativity and culture.”
She staffs the shop with a group of volunteers from her church selling a wide range of festive Fairtrade goods which are ideal for Christmas presents.
Richard Wilson, letting and managing agent for Dundas Shopping Centre and senior associate partner at Middlesbrough-based commercial property consultancy Dodds Brown, says: “We are pleased that Traidcraft is back in the Dundas Centre as a temporary let until the Friday before Christmas.
“We are in talks with a number of retailers about the space which is presently available in the centre. Interest has been heightened since the Budget announcement of the business rates reduction for the next financial year where town centre retail properties with rateable values of £51,000 and below will benefit from a one third reduction for two years from April 2019.
“This is in addition to the existing Small Business Rate Relief for properties with rateable values of £15,000 or below.”
Anchored by B&M, with other national occupiers Fultons Foods and Cooplands, Dundas Shopping Centre has a weekly footfall of 70,000, and is also home to a number of independent retailers, Dundas Market and Middlesbrough Council’s The Live Well Centre.
The centre is set to benefit from further occupation of the office space above it at Dundas House, as well as from the Albert Road North Regeneration scheme, Middlesbrough railway station redevelopment, the expansion of the town’s digital office hub, its new snow centre and the Centre Square Office Scheme.