Market switch proves a hit
IT’S like Boro’s Glasto! That was the view of one happy punter who enjoyed Middlesbrough’s Orange Pip Market’s first foray onto Centre Square.
When Middlesbrough Council announced the popular market was to move from Bedford and Baker Street, it sparked controversy, with traders and the public worried it would lose its character.
Eventually, the authority decided to move Saturday’s market for one day only.
The event was reconfigured, with a stage and drinking zone separate from the food stalls usually crammed into the centre of the two terraced streets.
Stephen Moloney, 31, from Longlands, Middlesbrough, said: “I wasn’t too sure what to think, as when I got here it wasn’t too busy so you could get round things.
“But it’s got Warsteiner on tap, so that’s OK for me.
“The only thing that’s let it down for me is the stage has a fence round it so you can’t take your beer out. You want to enjoy the whole thing, and the food stalls are separate.
“I think it needs more space and it was a good idea to give something different a try, but I don’t think they’ve got it quite right. They should give it a try extending to Albert Road as when I went down Baker and Bedford Streets, they weren’t as busy as usual.”
Middlesbrough Council had said the monthly market would move to Centre Square to provide much-needed “breathing space” for the rapidly expanding festival. It said the growing crowds had prompted safety and accessibility issues, as well as a number of complaints that the event was no longer a comfortable experience.
Centre Square was set to be trialled for Saturday’s market and if successful would be used in July and August, with a further review for autumn.
But plans to move more than one event were scrapped after traders spoke out against it.
However, speaking about Saturday’s Centre Square event, Heather Willis, 32, from Middlesbrough, said: “It was great – the sun was shining, all the stalls were busy and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.”
The Summer Special event housed a festival-style bar with 32 taps serving artisan ales, and other pop-up alcohol stalls.